When your teeth and gums are generally healthy, an ordinary teeth cleaning or scale and polish is all that’s needed to maintain optimal dental health. However, we will most likely recommend a deep teeth cleaning, also called scaling and root planing, if you have periodontal disease. The treatment provides a more in-depth cleaning than an ordinary tooth cleaning and can prevent periodontal disease from worsening. Periodontal disease can become chronic, so you may require regular deep teeth cleaning treatments to control this condition.
Chronic periodontal disease can significantly damage your gums, causing them to pull away from your teeth and creating large pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets are called periodontal pockets and create the ideal conditions for harmful bacteria to thrive. Periodontal pockets can become quite deep and impossible to clean with an ordinary toothbrush. Without treatment, periodontal disease can cause gum and bone loss. Teeth may start to loosen, changing your bite, and eventually, this disease can cause tooth loss. Equally concerning, periodontal disease is linked to poorer overall health. It can worsen existing conditions or increase the risk of developing serious health problems.
There are several reasons why people develop this condition, and often it is due to poor oral hygiene. If you fail to brush and floss regularly, harmful bacteria can infect and inflame your gums. Other factors that can cause periodontal disease include:
Signs of periodontal disease include gums that bleed when you brush or floss or at other times. Your gums may look inflamed and red and feel tender to touch. You could have persistent bad breath or a foul taste. Your teeth may begin to shift position as they loosen, affecting your bite.
When you visit our dental practice, Dr. Adam Shoukry or another member of our dental team can assess your gum health and diagnose any problems such as gum disease. We can then provide suitable treatment. Mild gum disease may only require an ordinary teeth cleaning, but advanced gum disease will benefit from a scaling and root planing treatment.
By far the best dental experience I’ve had. I m so glad I found this office ! I used to be very anxious before getting a dental procedure or even getting my teeth cleaned, but Dr Shoukry was so incredible and professional. He completely changed my experience. I had a few cavities to heal and was never in pain - not during, not after the procedure. Everybody was incredibly nice to me. I trust this office 100% and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for the best and fairest dental care. Will definitely send my friends and family.
Deep teeth cleaning may be carried out during one or more appointments depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. Because your gums will feel more sensitive, we may suggest using a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort during this procedure.
The first part of the treatment is very similar to an ordinary teeth scaling, where we use ultrasonic tools to loosen hardened plaque, called calculus. The sonic vibrations help loosen tartar from teeth surfaces before we can carefully scale away the loosened debris using special hand tools to remove especially hard particles of calculus.
Periodontal disease causes gums to recede, exposing your tooth roots, and the next part of the procedure is to root plane or smooth these tooth roots. Planing or smoothing these tooth roots helps remove all plaque and tartar buildup, and creating a smooth surface makes it easier for your gums to reattach to your teeth. At the same time, the smooth surface makes it harder for harmful plaque bacteria to adhere to these surfaces. Root planing also helps reduce gum inflammation, so your gums can fight the infection more effectively.
During a scaling and root planing treatment, we thoroughly clean out the periodontal pockets or spaces between your teeth and gums, which helps remove as many harmful bacteria as possible. When an infection is especially severe, we can place topical antibiotics into the periodontal pockets or may prescribe oral antibiotics to help eliminate the infection.
Afterward, we can provide precise instructions on how to brush and floss your teeth, and it’s important to follow this advice closely. Initially, your gums may bleed a little and feel a bit sore, but they will gradually become stronger and healthier if you persevere with brushing and flossing. We may prescribe a special antimicrobial mouthwash after treatment to help fight the bacterial infection.
We will likely recommend a follow-up appointment to assess treatment efficacy and make sure the periodontal pockets are shrinking as expected. You will most likely receive a periodontal maintenance plan where you need to return for regular deep teeth cleanings, usually every three or four months instead of every six months.
Teeth scaling and root planing is the gold standard for treating periodontal disease and will provide good results. As your gums begin to heal after treatment, the periodontal pockets start to shrink, so your gums begin fitting more snugly around your teeth. Reducing the pocket size makes it easier to maintain good oral health afterward and reduces your risk of gum, bone, and tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is often called a silent disease because the early symptoms can develop unnoticed. It is a major reason why we strongly recommend regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings combined with a good oral care routine at home. An effective preventive dental care routine will help prevent gum disease from developing, ensuring your gums remain strong and healthy. The routine is very easy to follow and includes:
Try to keep a close eye on your oral health between your regular dental examinations. If you notice any new symptoms, especially bleeding gums, please contact us for help and advice. When we can treat the first signs of periodontal disease, we can usually reverse this condition entirely before it can permanently damage your dental or general health.