Periodontal cleaning is a procedure recommended by dentists to treat advanced gum disease, which is caused by plaque and tartar build-up below the gum line. This treatment helps to remove bacteria and plaque from beneath your gum line, reducing inflammation and helping to promote healing. In this blog post, we will explain how periodontal cleaning is performed, what you can expect during the procedure, and its benefits.
What is Periodontal Cleaning?
Periodontal cleaning, also known as deep cleaning or scaling and root planing, is a dental procedure used to treat advanced gum disease (periodontitis).
This procedure involves removing plaque and tartar (calculus) from below the gum line to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. It is usually done by a periodontist, a dentist specializing in the treatment of gum disease. Periodontal teeth cleaning may take multiple dental visits and may require a local anesthetic, depending on the severity of gum disease.
Regular dental cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is usually performed on patients with good oral health. This type of cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar from above the gum line, eliminating surface stains, and polishing the teeth.
In comparison, periodontal cleaning is a deeper form of dental cleaning that involves removing plaque and tartar below the gum line. While regular cleanings are designed to prevent gum disease, periodontal cleaning is used to treat existing gum disease.
When Do You Need Periodontal Cleaning?
Your dentist will recommend periodontal cleaning if you have signs of advanced gum disease (periodontitis), such as receding gums and pockets between teeth and gums. Regular cleanings are not enough to reduce the effects of gum disease in these cases.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque and tartar build up below the gum line, causing inflammation and infection. Periodontal cleaning is essential to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar and reduce inflammation because regular brushing and flossing alone cannot reach below the gum line.
Signs & Symptoms of Periodontitis
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease characterized by redness and swollen gums that bleed easily when brushing. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. The signs and symptoms of periodontitis include:
- Receding gums
- Shifting teeth
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums
- Visible plaque build-up on teeth surfaces.
If periodontitis is left untreated, it can destroy the bone and tissues that support teeth, leading to tooth loss. Also, advanced gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of developing serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
How Is Periodontal Cleaning Performed?
Periodontal cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, may involve multiple visits, depending on the severity of gum disease. Your dentist may or may not use a local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable.
The first step is teeth scaling, which involves using a dental instrument to remove plaque and tartar deposits from above and below the gum line and between your teeth.
This is followed by root planing, which involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth to help prevent plaque buildup in the future. Also, it helps your gums to reattach to your teeth. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help control any infection present in the gums.
In severe cases of periodontitis, your periodontist may recommend a gingival flap surgery, which involves raising a small portion of the gums to perform a more effective periodontal cleaning (scaling and root planing).
Additional procedures, such as bone grafting and tissue grafting, may also be necessary to restore damaged gums and bones. Flap surgery and bone graft for periodontitis are usually done under local anesthesia.
What to Expect After Periodontal Cleaning?
After a periodontal cleaning treatment, some soreness or discomfort may be present in the area where the scaling and root planing were performed, depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. This is normal and can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers or medications prescribed by your periodontist.
You may also experience minor bleeding that stops shortly after the procedure. Your periodontist will recommend a follow-up schedule to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.
You will also be given instructions on how to properly care for your teeth and gums at home, which is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The aftercare instructions may include proper brushing techniques, flossing, and rinsing with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Regular visits to the dentist for a professional teeth cleaning are also essential to help prevent and manage gum disease.
Periodontal cleaning, also known as deep cleaning or scaling and root planing, is a procedure used to treat advanced gum disease (periodontitis). It involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and below the gum line.
The procedure may require several visits to the dentist and is done in conjunction with lifestyle modifications such as practicing regular oral hygiene at home. Your periodontist will also recommend using an anti-bacterial mouthwash and regular dental visits for professional teeth cleaning as part of your long-term treatment plan.