Reviewed by Dr. Kerri Font, DDS

A periodontal cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a deep cleaning procedure performed by a dental professional to treat gum disease. It involves removing plaque and tartar build-up from the teeth and gums, as well as smoothing the surfaces of the roots to prevent further buildup.

In this blog post, we will explain what a periodontal cleaning is and why it is important for your overall health and well-being. 

Table of Contents

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common condition caused by bacteria in plaque and tartar that irritate the gums, leading to inflammation and infection. If left untreated, it can progress from mild gingivitis to more severe forms of periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss and damage to the surrounding bone and tissue.

The goal of a periodontal cleaning is to remove these harmful bacteria and restore the health of the gums and supporting structures.

Key Takeaway

A periodontal cleaning is a deep cleaning procedure that treats existing gum disease by addressing plaque and tartar buildup below the gumline. This procedure not only manages gum disease but also enhances overall oral hygiene, plays a preventive role against further dental damage, and reduces associated health risks.

Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

During the procedure, your periodontist will use specialized instruments to carefully remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline and around the roots of the teeth. This process may take multiple appointments and may require the use of local anesthesia to ensure comfort.

After removing the buildup, the roots of the teeth are smoothed or “planed” to remove rough spots that can attract bacteria. This also helps the gums reattach to the teeth and prevent further progression of gum disease.

Periodontal maintenance may be necessary after a deep cleaning to ensure the gums remain healthy. It involves regular cleanings and check-ups every 3-4 months to monitor the condition of the gums and prevent any recurrence or advancement of gum disease.

Periodontal Cleaning vs. Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, involve removing plaque and tartar from above the gumline. They are preventive cleanings that help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

On the other hand, periodontal cleanings focus on treating existing gum disease by addressing buildup below the gumline. These deep cleanings are more intensive and may require additional appointments to complete.

The Benefits and Importance of Periodontal Cleanings for Oral Health

Periodontal cleanings not only treat gum disease but also help prevent its progression and potential complications. By removing harmful bacteria, the procedure can:

  • Reduce inflammation and infection in the gums
  • Prevent further damage to the teeth and supporting structures
  • Improve overall oral health and hygiene
  • Help maintain fresh breath by eliminating sources of bad bacteria in the mouth

In addition to oral health benefits, periodontal cleanings have also been linked to improved overall health. Research has shown that gum disease is associated with a higher risk of other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems. Treating and preventing gum disease through regular periodontal cleanings can help lower these risks.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Dental Health

To preserve your dental health, consider implementing the following recommendations:

  • Schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings.
  • Maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine, including daily brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.
  • Monitor changes in your gum health and consult with your dentist if you observe any abnormalities.
  • Adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle to supplement your oral health maintenance efforts.

At Highlands Ranch Periodontics and Implant Center, we are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive dental care tailored to your unique needs. Our periodontal cleanings not only protect your gum health, but they also serve as a preventative measure against more invasive dental procedures, such as periodontal surgery.

Periodontist in Highlands Ranch CO

If you are looking for a periodontist in Highlands Ranch, CO, our team at Highlands Ranch Periodontics and Implant Center is here to help. We specialize in periodontal treatments and can provide you with personalized care to ensure the health of your gums and teeth.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can help you maintain a healthy smile for life. Together, we can work towards achieving optimal oral health and overall well-being.  So don’t wait, schedule your appointment today! 

If you are searching for the ‘best periodontist near me’ or ‘gum disease treatment near me’, call (303) 683-1144 to book an appointment with Dr. Mike Norouzinia, DDS or Dr. Kerri Font, DDS.  We look forward to helping you on the road to a healthy smile!

FAQs About Periodontal Cleanings

How often do you need scaling and root planing?

The frequency of periodontal cleanings depends on the severity of your gum disease. For mild cases, one deep cleaning may be sufficient, followed by regular maintenance cleanings every 3-4 months. More severe cases may require multiple deep cleanings and more frequent maintenance appointments.

What happens if you smoke after scaling and root planing?

Smoking can significantly impact the success of periodontal cleanings. Tobacco delays healing and can cause infection. It is recommended to refrain from smoking for 24-48 hours after the procedure to allow for proper healing.

Is scaling and root planing painful?

The procedure itself should not be painful as local anesthesia is used to numb the area being treated. However, some patients may experience discomfort or sensitivity afterward, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and following post-procedure care instructions from your dentist.

What can I eat after scaling and root planing?

It is best to stick to soft foods and avoid anything hard, crunchy or sticky for the first few days after scaling and root planing. This will allow your gums time to heal without any added stress. Some recommended food options include mashed potatoes, soup, yogurt, and scrambled eggs. Be sure to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and aid in healing.

Categories: Periodontics