For many reasons, sometimes people aren’t able to maintain the recommended frequency of dental check-ups. Oftentimes, when an extended time has gone in-between the cleanings, a more advanced cleaning may be recommended by your doctor. Harmful bacteria and hard tartar deposits called “calculus” build up on your teeth above and below the gum line, releasing toxins that cause early symptoms of gingivitis, inflammation and bleeding of the gums. Unfortunately, this build-up occurs in areas that can’t be taken care of by brushing, flossing, or even a regular dental cleaning. This build-up can become so extensive that the dental exam is not possible. If this is caught before the full onset of periodontal disease, your doctor can recommend a procedure called “debridement” as a first step to remove these deposits from your teeth. In some cases, this will be enough on its own to bring your gums back to health. Debridement is a specialized procedure that removes excessive calculus and the bacterial deposits beneath the gum line, and it’s usually performed with a high-tech device called “an ultrasonic cleaner” that uses high-frequency vibration to separate the calculus from the tooth. By removing the deposits and bacteria, debridement is in many cases able to halt the spread of gingivitis. Your doctor will help you determine the next steps now that a comprehensive examination is possible. If these symptoms are not treated appropriately when detected, the progression can advance to the point of causing periodontitis and bone loss, which may require far more invasive and costly procedures to treat over time.