Oral Prophylaxis Explained: Goals and Procedures

Plaque and bacteria are major contributors to oral problems like tooth cavities, gum disease, and premature tooth loss. Oral prophylaxis is a common and effective periodontal treatment in Dieppe, NB. This professional dental procedure involves the removal of plaque and bacteria from above and below the gum line. 

Let us discuss the major goals of oral prophylaxis and how it is performed. 

What is the goal of oral prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis is an excellent procedure to get rid of dental plaque and bacteria. It is performed for the following reasons:

To eliminate calculus

  • Tartar (calculus) is the hardened version of plaque that gets deposited above and below the gum line. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontal diseases.
  • Regular brushing and flossing do not reach the plaque in deeper layers, thus worsening the condition. 
  • Prophylaxis uses special equipment that can effectively remove plaque and tartar.

To enhance your smile and aesthetics

  • Prophylaxis can help get rid of unsightly stains and teeth discoloration to restore your smile. 

To control bad breath

  • Periodontal diseases are most often accompanied by halitosis (bad breath) due to the rotting of the food particles subgingivally (below the gum line). Teeth cleaning helps to get rid of bad breath by eliminating plaque and bacteria.

To detect other health issues

  • It is believed that most often health problems first present themselves in the oral cavity. 
  • Through thorough dental examination and cleaning, dentists can detect several health issues, such as diabetes and kidney problems. 
  • Dentists can also detect early signs of oral cancer. 

What are the steps involved in oral prophylaxis?

Oral prophylaxis is a minimally invasive procedure performed by dentists or specially trained professionals known as dental hygienists. 

Here is a comprehensive guide to oral prophylaxis:

Supragingival cleaning

  • Involves plaque removal from above the gum line

Subgingival cleaning

  • Plaque removal from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line.

Root planing

  • Involves smoothening of the roots to eliminate residual bacteria.

Antibiotic medications

  • Antibiotic or antimicrobial cream is placed in the gum pockets to promote healing.

Dental radiographs 

  • A thorough dental exam and routine X-rays can help evaluate the amount of gum and bone loss in periodontal disease patients. It also identifies areas that require special attention in the future. 

Oral prophylaxis, also known as teeth cleaning, is an effective method for removing plaque and bacteria, thereby improving oral health and enhancing the appearance of your smile. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your teeth cleaned and boost your overall health and wellness. 


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