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Teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine toothbrushing. It is often done by a dental hygienist. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth.
The symptoms of gingivitis are somewhat non-specific and manifest in the gum tissue as the classic signs of inflammation:
Bright red or purple gums
Gums that are tender or painful to the touch
Bleeding gums or bleeding after brushing
Additionally, the stippling that normally exists on the gum tissue of some individuals will often disappear and the gums may appear shiny when the gum tissue becomes swollen and stretched over the inflamed underlying connective tissue. The accumulation may also emit an unpleasant odor.
When the gingiva are swollen, the epithelial lining of the gingival crevice becomes ulcerated and the gums will bleed more easily with even gentle brushing, and especially when flossing.