Most regular dental appointments come with a routine cleaning. But if you have gum disease, you may need something a little more intensive. Periodontal debridement can help halt the progression of gingivitis and periodontitis.

This procedure is also known as scaling and root planing, though in truth it involves several more steps.

Do You Have Deep Pockets?

Space forms between your teeth and gums as bacteria begin eating away at them. These pockets can become breeding grounds for more bacteria, which can endanger your teeth.

When we check for gum disease we measure your pockets. They should be no more than 5mm deep. If they are any deeper a prophylaxis cleaning becomes the most appropriate step to take. Our goal is halting the progression of the disease and creating a healthy environment for gums to reattach to your teeth.

The procedure

We’ll perform a normal plaque cleaning, but if we determine you need prophylaxis we’ll “scale” your teeth. This means we’ll remove tartar both above the gum line, and below. We also smooth down the root of your tooth (planing) so your gums will have an easy surface to reattach to.

Next, we’ll apply a topical medicine to your gums. We’ll work it into the pockets to speed the healing process and to help reduce pain. We may also give you a clinical mouthwash to use as you heal.

Your mouth may be a little swollen and irritated after the prophylaxis procedure. This is normal and generally goes away within 1-2 days.

You can expect we’ll want to schedule a follow-up visit to make sure the healing process is progressing normally.

What periodontal debridement should do

A deel cleaning should help control your gum disease. It will also give you a brighter smile. It can even help you combat bad breath, as it’s hard to keep your mouth fresh with infected gums. A regular oral hygiene regimen can help you maintain these positive effects.

Some people will only need to undergo the procedure once a year. Or, depending of the severity of the existing periodontal disease and your ability to maintain at home, we might recommend a maintenance appointment every 3, 4 or 6 months.  We will discuss your treatment plan when you come in for your exam.

Gum disease doesn’t take long to get out of control, and catching it early is the key to protecting your teeth.  If your gums are bleeding, puffy, or irritated, call Capital Dental Design in Richmond to make an appointment today.