Preventative Cleanings

You’ve heard it before: Prevention is the best medicine. Preventative cleanings for your mouth are no exception!

Even if you brush and floss diligently, plaque and bacteria can accumulate along your teeth and gums. They hide in dark, hard-to-reach places that only your dentist can find. That’s why receiving a preventative cleaning, or prophylaxis, every six months is such an important part of your dental care.

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Preventative Cleanings

Dr. Carlo and his team carefully remove stains, plaque, and tartar during preventative cleanings in order to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. This is the easiest and most powerful way to protect your oral health and avoid costly, painful, unpleasant dental problems in the future.

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All day, every day, acid-producing bacteria and plaque collect around your teeth and gums. In addition to brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly, fluoride is an important key to fighting bacteria and plaque before they cause tooth decay.

Fluoride is a mineral that prevents cavities by shielding the teeth and even repairing them in the very early stages of decay. When you visit Dr. Carlo, you have the option to receive topical fluoride treatment directly to your tooth enamel. This type of in-office fluoride treatment has been used for decades to help protect the oral health of children and adults.

If you are at higher risk of developing cavities, Dr. Carlo may recommend a more comprehensive fluoride treatment plan. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional fluoride treatment every 3, 6, or 12 months, depending on your oral health.

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Periodontal Maintenance

If plaque and tartar have significantly damaged your mouth, all hope is not lost. It’s possible to minimize and even reverse signs of periodontal disease with periodontal maintenance. Unlike a basic preventative cleaning, periodontal maintenance is designed specifically for patients who have periodontal disease and complications such as deep gum pockets, bleeding gums, exposed root surfaces, and bone loss in the jaw.

Periodontal maintenance provides a much deeper and more comprehensive cleaning for patients at high risk of gum disease complications. This is why it’s performed three to four times a year, rather than only every six months. In addition to cleaning the teeth and gums, periodontal maintenance also involves:

  • Removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line
  • Measuring gum pocket depth
  • Smoothing tooth roots
  • Evaluation of bone loss and infection
  • Inflammation treatment

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Periodontal Therapy

Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy (Scaling & Root PlanIng)
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Left untreated, gum disease causes serious complications like tooth loss, bone loss, and accelerated decay. This is why it’s so important to receive periodontal therapy from your San Diego dentist. If your gum disease is treated early, scaling and root planing may be enough to stop the progression of disease.

Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gumline. Since the inflammation of gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, spaces called pockets develop where plaque and bacteria thrive. Scaling removes the dangerous toxins trapped in those pockets.

Root planing smoothes each tooth root, which helps the gums reattach to the tooth. This also reduces the size of gum pockets and prevents bacteria from becoming trapped below the gumline in the future. Dr. Carlo may also recommend an antibiotic or other prescription to help your gum tissue heal after periodontal therapy.

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Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a painful condition that causes patients to clench and grind their teeth in their sleep. Most people with bruxism don’t realize it’s occurring, but chronic nighttime grinding causes unpleasant and ongoing symptoms:

  • Jaw pain and stiffness
  • Sore gums
  • Sensitive and broken teeth
  • Flat, short, or blunt teeth surfaces
  • Earaches
  • Chronic dull headaches
  • Clicking or painful jaw joints

Dr. Carlo helps bruxism patients achieve relief with the use of nighttime mouthguards. These nightguards are custom-made to rest comfortably along the teeth and gums. A soft inner layer protects the teeth, while a hard, durable outer layer prevents grinding and clenching. The use of a nightguard to treat bruxism is simple, non-invasive, and effective.

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“I am 75+ years old and have seen dentistry through many stages of development and many, many dentists during that time. Because of that history, I have developed a certain stress level when it comes to dental care. However, in the 15 years I have been a patient of Dr. Carlo, his painless procedures and efficient techniques have resulted in eliminating my stress threshold.”