For many generations people have gone to the dentist for a “cleaning” not giving thought to what exactly that entails. In fact, there are different kinds of “cleanings” specific to each person’s needs. For example, an Adult Prophy cleaning is for a person who has a healthy mouth, i.e. great homecare, periodontal probings that are normal (3mm or less), no bleeding gums, little calculus and plaque and who faithfully comes in every 6 months. Once a person’s mouth starts showing signs of gingivitis i.e. puffy red bleeding gums, periodontal probings localized of 4 mm or more with no evidence of bone loss on their radiographs yet. A typical “cleaning” for someone with gingivitis is an adult prophy done more frequently until the infection is gone. Once the bacterial infection has reached the bone supporting teeth, clinical and radiographic evidence will confirm signs of Periodontal Disease which is treated according to its severity. In some cases we only need to treat localized areas of the mouth, whereas in other cases the infection is affecting the entire dentition. Treatment for periodontal disease includes a “cleaning” called Scaling and Root Planing where the depths of the periodontal pockets are accessed to remove the bacteria causing the infection. Periodontal disease cannot be cured and thus must be “maintained” with 3-4 month interval “cleanings” called Periodontal Maintenance. Here at Life Smiles, a family dentistry in Plymouth, MN, we treat every mouth individually and you can be assured your mouth will get the “cleaning” that it deserves!