Scaling and root planning is a type of deep cleaning used to prevent and treat the spread of gum disease. Some patients do not qualify for standard dental cleanings due to periodontal bone loss or a buildup of bacterial buildup under the gum line. When this occurs, your dentist may recommend a periodontal cleaning.
What Is a Periodontal Cleaning?
In dentistry, a “regular” teeth cleaning is called prophylaxis and refers to the way teeth are cleaned to prevent disease. If periodontal disease is already present, a normal teeth cleaning is not sufficient. Instead, your dentist will perform a teeth cleaning designed to treat periodontal disease, a procedure known as a periodontal cleaning.
Periodontal disease often starts with mild symptoms, such as tender gums and bad breath. If the disease is allowed to progress, symptoms can get worse, resulting in possible periodontal abscesses and loose teeth. The purpose of a periodontal cleaning is to remove the accumulation of bacteria from under the gums.
Normal vs. Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance is similar to regular cleanings with a few differences. First, you will likely need to visit your dentist more frequently. Instead of undergoing cleanings every six to 12 months, your dentist will likely want to see you every three to four months.
When you get a periodontal cleaning, your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar just like with a normal cleaning. The hygienist will also clean between the teeth down to the gum, a procedure known as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the pockets of your gums will be examined to determine if they are inflamed or infected.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical dental procedure that is routinely used in the treatment of chronic periodontitis. The goal of a deep cleaning is to remove the buildup of harmful bacteria and achieve an environment where the gums can properly heal.
- Scaling is the process of removing plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins from the teeth and root surfaces.
- Root planing involves the smoothing down of the surfaces of teeth under the gum line. A smooth root surface makes it more difficult for these deposits to form on the teeth and gums.
This procedure must be completed by an experienced Clermont dental professional as it requires in-depth detail. All harmful bacteria and plaque must be fully removed to prevent the infection from returning. The effectiveness of this procedure depends on a number of factors, from the progression of the disease and depth of the pockets, to the unique grooves and shape of the tooth roots.
Caring for Your Mouth After a Deep Cleaning
After undergoing a periodontal cleaning, there are several things you’ll want to do to prevent recurring inflammation and infection.
- Avoid acidic beverages and foods for two to three days following the procedure and limit their frequency thereafter.
- Maintain adequate saliva in the mouth to help remineralize and strengthen root surfaces. One way to do this is to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Ask your dentist about switching to a nano-hydroxyapatite (nHa) toothpaste.
- Switch to a sonic toothbrush which can help gently break up plaque on the teeth and gums before it has the chance to harden into tartar.
Your dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics following your deep cleaning to prevent an infection in your mouth caused by the increased bacterial load.
Importance of Periodontal Cleanings
It is important to receive treatment for periodontitis as soon as your dentist discovers the problem. Although it is not possible to reverse gum disease once it begins, you can stop it from progressing. Without treatment, periodontitis can cause a wide range of problems, such as tooth loss, receding gums, loose teeth, and alveolar bone loss.
Schedule a Deep Cleaning Today
Are you interested in learning more about periodontal cleanings? Contact the friendly dental team at Hancock Village Dental.