If you have recently been diagnosed with gum disease then one treatment you are likely to be offered is scaling and root planning. This can be a solution for treating mild or moderate periodontal disease, or it can be part of an ongoing plan to control chronic periodontal disease that is too advanced to be completely eliminated. But what is deep cleaning?
A Deep Cleaning for Your Gums
Scaling and root planning is best described as being a process that will help to deep clean your gums. It is quite similar to a more conventional hygiene appointment that you would receive at your general dental office, but takes things a step further. When someone is diagnosed with periodontal disease at D&D Periodontal Associates, they will often have gums that have receded (Read more: Receding gums treatments) and have pulled away from their teeth. This can expose the tooth roots and at the same time it creates deep pockets in between the gums and the teeth that can be very tricky to keep clean with a toothbrush.
Deep cleaning is a treatment that will clean your teeth and any exposed tooth roots, helping to remove much of the bacteria so your body will be able to fight the infection more effectively. The aim is to help your gums become healthier and without the infection they will begin to fit more snugly around your teeth. This will help prevent the progression of the gum pockets around your teeth so your periodontal disease will be better controlled.
What to Expect During Scaling Treatment
For relatively mild cases of gum disease, we can normally carry out a deep cleaning without any local anesthetic. However if your gums are quite tender and inflamed then we may use local anesthetic to keep you more comfortable during treatment. We use special hand tools to gently scrape or scale your teeth, removing plaque and tartar before paying attention to any exposed tooth roots. These tooth roots are also scaled to remove tartar and the process can slightly roughen the surfaces. Tooth root surfaces may also become slightly rougher due to the bacterial infection.
This is why we need to plane or smooth these surfaces once all the tartar is removed. Root planing will smooth out any rough areas which is important for a couple of different reasons. Firstly bacteria find it much harder to stick to smooth surfaces, and secondly it will make it easier for the gums to heal so they can begin fitting around your teeth much more tightly than before. If you have quite deep gum pockets in between your teeth and gums, we may use topical antibiotics which we placed in these gum pockets to help control bacteria.
If you do require deep cleaning then there is nothing to be scared of as this treatment is highly effective at helping to restore gum health. The great thing about attending a periodontal practice is that you will get treatment that is fully customized to your needs and we can work with you to make sure your gums become as healthy as possible.