How Does a Periodontal Cleaning Differ from a Prophylaxis?

Dr. Firoz Lalani

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Firoz Lalani

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A visit to the best dentist in Houston TX for routine dental cleaning is necessary to keep your gums healthy. But when gum disease or periodontal condition progress, you might need a lot more than just general dental cleaning in order to preserve the health of your mouth and your smile. You need to find an experienced team at Houston dental clinic that routinely offers periodontal services for their patients in your community. However, before you get an experienced periodontist you need to know the differences between a regular cleaning and periodontal cleaning as well as the differences between periodontal cleaning and prophylaxis when each of them may be recommended for your oral health needs.

What is periodontal cleaning?

Gum disease or periodontal disease is basically an inflammatory that is caused due to the growth of harmful oral bacteria that live and grow in the tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth. When such deposits start to accumulate below your gum line, a periodontal or a gum cleaning, also known as root planing and scaling, might be prescribed to treat your condition and help in improving the health of your gums. Root planing and scaling is basically a non-surgical procedure that is performed by your dentist or your periodontist while as patients, you would be under local anesthesia. You need to find a skilled team that uses specialized instruments to remove any tartar and plaque deposits gently from the surfaces of your teeth and your roots, and ultimately smoothen the teeth hence enabling your gum to heal and get healthier.

General symptoms that you may experience during a gum disease

If you suffer from gum disease, yet it is not always possible to be aware of the situation. In such cases, you will benefit from having a professional and experienced dentist or a periodontist who can recommend if you need routine dental exams to conceal your concerning conditions. Some of the most obvious symptoms and signs that you suffer from gum disease are:

  • If you have puffy, red, or tender gums
  • If your gums start to bleed every time your floss or brush
  • If you suffer from halitosis or chronic bad breath
  • If you sense a bad taste in your mouth
  • If your teeth tend to feel loose or appear to shift
  • If your gum line is receding
  • If you notice changes in how your teeth seem to fit together
  • If you notice any pus accumulated between your teeth and your gums

When is regular cleaning versus periodontal cleaning recommended by Houston dentist?

Oral prophylaxis or regular cleaning is a precautionary service that typically is recommended for patients who do not suffer from any gum disease and is typically performed every six months. However, if your periodontist or your dentist believes that you suffer from a periodontal or gum disease, they may recommend that you get periodontal cleaning. They might recommend a periodontal cleaning to help in improving your oral health. In such cases, tartar and plaque are present right below your gum line inside your periodontal pockets or the spaces present right between your gums and teeth that could not be removed generally with just a routine dental cleaning.


How often do you need periodontal cleanings?

According to experts at a dental care Houston root planing and a scaling procedure are typically completed in stages. Your dentist or your periodontist would first focus on one quadrant or quarter of your mouth. This means that your cleaning would generally take place throughout up to one to four visits. When you follow this initial therapy, your specialists may also recommend that you visit periodontal maintenance cleanings, which are usually performed on the basis of three to four months. When it comes to periodontal maintenance, generally these programs are designed to help patients in managing their bone health and gum health better. It also focuses on maintaining the health of your mouth. It can also help you in keeping the growth of your oral bacteria right under control. Periodontal maintenance can also help you in replacing your annual oral prophylaxis services and also include a lot of thorough cleanings, X-rays, and gum health assessments as well as any exams as and when needed.


When it comes to your oral health, you need to find a skilled periodontist or a dentist who is an expert in taking care of all the various stages of gum diseases. These periodontists often work closely with several local dentists to make sure that they meet the periodontal needs of their patients. If you consider that you might suffer from gum disease or if you have any further questions regarding regular cleaning services or periodontal cleanings, you can always visit a dentist at Houston dental clinic to get a professional opinion.

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