Deep Gum Cleaning
Scaling and Root Planing: The Benefits of Deep Cleaning
The goal of scaling and root planing is to eliminate the source of periodontal infection by removing the plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins from the root surfaces of the teeth below the gumline. When you have active periodontal disease, routine cleanings are not enough because they generally remove plaque and tartar from above the gumline only.
To keep you comfortable, we usually numb the area before root planing begins. Using specialized instruments, we carefully and meticulously remove the plaque and tartar around and beneath the gumline, and then smooth the root surfaces. This removes the source of infection and helps your gums heal. As they heal, your gums will tighten around your teeth.
We may schedule scaling and root planing over several appointments. This way we can keep you comfortable, monitor the healing, and help you fine-tune your homecare efforts.
Doing Your Part
The full benefits of scaling and root planing can never be realized without a complete commitment to homecare on your part. When you’ve lost bone due to periodontal disease, it takes new tools and techniques to clean the plaque off of your teeth.
In a healthy mouth, the space between the tooth and gums, called the sulcus, is normally two to three millimeters deep. This shallow sulcus is easily accessed for cleaning with a toothbrush and floss. With periodontal disease, the sulcus deepens. It’s now greater than three millimeters, and regular brushing and flossing becomes much less effective. The accumulation of plaque and calculus in the pocket allows periodontal disease to advance and with that comes the loss of bone surrounding the teeth. As the bone levels drop the irregular contours of the tooth’s roots are exposed. Floss stretches across the indentations on the root surface unable to effectively remove the plaque.
Special tools are available to reach down beyond the normal three millimeters to thoroughly clean the contours of the root surface. There are many products available and like most things, some work better than others. Let us use our experience to direct you toward the tools that get the best results.