Some dentists recommend a deep cleaning procedure for patients with gum disease. Deep cleaning will remove the buildup of plaque and tartar around your gum line, which can help to restore the condition of your gums. If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist may have suggested that you have this procedure. If so, here's a look at what you should know about the procedure and recovery.
Understanding Gum Disease
Gum disease is a condition that occurs when plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth at the gum line. As this material builds up, it can actually separate your gums from your teeth. When this happens, that gap can harbor bacteria and particles, which may lead to serious damage on your teeth. The most effective way to remove these particles is through a deep cleaning procedure.
Exploring Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning consists of two steps. It starts with scaling, which is the process used to remove the plaque and tartar. Your dentist might treat your gums with a local anesthetic before this process to ease your discomfort. Then, he or she will use a device called a scaler to scrape the tartar away from your teeth. In addition, your dentist may also use an ultrasonic tool that uses vibration to break tartar free. Irrigation will help to rinse all of those particles away. Once the deposits are removed, the dentist will use a planing tool to smooth the roots of the teeth out. This will help keep plaque from building up again.
Understanding the Recovery
Once your treatment is finished, you'll be provided with thorough after-care instructions to help your gums heal. For example, your dentist may recommend that you rinse your mouth with a saltwater rinse a few times a day for the first day or two after treatment. You may also be advised to use an antiseptic mouth rinse a few times a day after the first day or so. This mouth wash will help keep any bacteria from thriving.
Since this process directly affects the roots of your teeth, it can lead to some tooth and gum sensitivity. You may experience a sensitivity reaction when you consume anything acidic, spicy, excessively hot or overwhelmingly cold. You can ease this in the days after treatment by taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
You may also be prescribed an antibiotic or other medication to help keep infections at bay while you're recovering. Salt water rinses a few times a day can help ease the inflammation in the first few days following your treatment, and then you may want to follow that up with your prescription or dentist-recommended antiseptic mouth rinse.
In addition, you'll be provided with discharge instructions that will guide you in caring for your gums based on your unique situation. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, you may have to treat your gums more extensively. In fact, severe cases may be treated over the course of several visits.
Since the process of scaling and planing can introduce bacteria into your bloodstream, it's important that you talk with your dentist about your medical history. If you have an autoimmune condition that leaves you more vulnerable to infections, such as diabetes or a heart condition, you may need to take an antibiotic in advance of the treatment.
This process can help you treat moderate to severe gum disease. If your dentist recommends it, it can be helpful to understand the process, recovery and important considerations. With the information presented here, you can go into the treatment fully informed and confident about your recovery. If you have other questions, talk with your dentist or visit a dental clinic such as Silverado Family Dental before you agree to treatment.