Prophylaxis Specialist

John H Ko, DDS -  - Cosmetic Dentist

John H Ko, DDS

Cosmetic Dentists & General Dentists located in Pleasanton, CA

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that affects half of Americans aged 30 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s why John H Ko DDS provides prophylaxis treatments at his office in Pleasanton, California. Prophylaxis is a preventive treatment that protects your gums and teeth from periodontal disease. Schedule an appointment at John H Ko DDS today by calling the office or book a visit online.

Prophylaxis Q&A

What is prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis is the thorough cleaning of your teeth to protect them against tooth decay and periodontal disease. This is a preventive treatment in which Dr. Ko and his team assess your risk for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, and eliminate any built-up bacteria and plaque on your teeth and gums. If you’re showing early signs of periodontal disease, Dr. Ko can help reverse the effects with prophylaxis.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

The signs of periodontal disease can be subtle if it hasn’t advanced, but some of the most common gum disease symptoms include:

  • Tender gums
  • Gum inflammation
  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Receding gums
  • Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
  • Shifting teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

When treated early, the effects of gum disease can be reversed. Once the disease advances, however, it’s more difficult to treat, which is why you should contact Dr. Ko at the first sign of any changes to your oral health.

What happens during prophylaxis treatment?

The primary goal of a prophylaxis treatment is to eliminate plaque and tartar and remove tooth stains to reverse any signs of periodontal disease. You can opt for prophylaxis during your routine dental cleaning or at a separate visit.

First, Dr. Ko uses special dental tools to remove plaque and tartar from above the gum line. If you have pockets of plaque below the gum line, he uses a nonsurgical treatment called scaling and root planing to clean them. While scaling, Dr. Ko inserts a small probe beneath the gum line to remove any debris from these pockets. This reduces gum inflammation and prevents gum disease from spreading.

After scaling, Dr. Ko may prescribe antibiotics or apply medication directly to the pockets beneath your gum line. This helps keep your infection at bay. Finally, he smooths your roots to encourage your gums to reattach to your teeth.

If you have periodontal disease, experts recommend scheduling a prophylaxis treatment every three to four months to prevent reinfection. To schedule a prophylaxis treatment at John H Ko DDS, call or book a visit online now.