You may hear the term periodontal disease or gum disease and wonder what this is. Well, after an examination in our office, we may recommend a variety of periodontal treatments that we are able to provide. The recommendations may include Scaling and Root Planing, Atridox, Arestin, Gingival Irrigation, and possibly a referral to a Periodontist for additional intervention.
The reason why we need to address the periodontal disease, is because the periodontium, or the gums and bones around the teeth form the foundation for our teeth. They are like the foundation to your house, if your foundation is weak or compromised, no matter how strong you build your walls, your home will break down and will not last as the foundation is flawed. We can see the same phenomenon with teeth and some of the classic signs include, the build up of plaque and calculus along the teeth and under the gums, pocketing or gaps between the teeth and gums, recession and bleeding gums.
If you have been told or know you have periodontal or gum disease, you must also understand that once we start to lose bone, there is very little that we can do to build that bone back. This is why we need to be proactive when addressing and treating this. We can slow down the destructive process by being proactive, but unfortunately without addressing it, it will continue and may even increase the rate of destruction as it progresses.
If any of these signs sound familiar to you, you may be a candidate and need a deep cleaning.
The process of the deep cleaning is as follows:
We start by splitting your mouth into four quadrants, we have Upper Right, Upper Left, Lower Right and Lower Left. We will usually work on one side of your mouth at each visit, making the deep cleaning a two visit procedure. Each visit usually takes around 1 hour. Your visit will begin with the application of a topical numbing gel along the gums followed by the placement of local anesthetic so we can clean all the way down to the bone. After anesthesia is achieved, we begin using an ultrasonic instrument or a cavort along with a lot of water and begin removing and cleaning all the root surfaces and the teeth. After completing this we irrigate all the pockets and under the gums with a medicated antimicrobial rinse. You will then want to return in about one week to get the other side completed to ensure that your whole mouth can heal and we can get an evaluation of the progress your gums are making.
After a deep cleaning, we will often bring you back in 6 weeks for a follow up, polish and a periodontal reevaluation. We will also likely be scheduling you for 3 month periodontal maintenance visits as well in our efforts to try and slow down the destructive process of periodontal disease.
After Deep Cleaning Care:
After you have completed the deep cleaning, you will usually still be numb on one side of your mouth. It is important to take it easy and avoid eating anything until you get your feeling back as we do not want you to be biting your cheek, tongue or lips. You will usually have some mild discomfort in your gums and we recommend using warm salt water to help irrigate and keep the gums clean as they heal in the first few days. If you are given a prescription you can use that as well. You also want to make sure you begin brushing and flossing really well to help keep things clean.