Initial Periodontal Therapy


Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissue and bone that support your teeth. The first step to treat this disease is called scaling and root planning. This is different than a regular cleaning. This treatment is a deeper cleaning which focuses on getting the inflammation and infection in the gum tissue under control. This procedure is usually done over a series of appointments. During these appointments the patient is numbed to ensure comfort then the hygienist will scale deep below the gumline to remove plaque and other bacterial toxins from the periodontal pockets. This procedure results in a smooth root surface to reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in the pocket. The reduction in the bacteria and toxins allows the pockets to shrink to a more manageable depth which ca be maintained with good homecare and shorter regular cleanings which are called “periodontal maintenance care”.

What to expect after periodontal treatment

Some mild discomfort or achiness may be felt the day to week after treatment- it is usually acute and manageable with Tylenol or Advil. Teeth may be more sensitive to temperature especially cold and sweets this should also subside in a few days.

Certain foods should be avoided that can get lodged into the pockets while healing is occurring ie: popcorn.

Oral hygiene should be performed twice daily as healing will not occur if plaque and bacteria are not proficiently removed with recommended oral hygiene devices.

After completing the scaling and root planning a patient will need to schedule another dental visit weeks after treatment. At this appointment the hygienist will check the gums to ensure healing has occurred. 

It is important to remember the scaling and root planning is only the first step to achieving a healthy mouth. Periodontal disease is an ongoing condition and proper home care and regular maintenance with a dentist is required.