The dentist or hygienist routinely performs a periodontal exam that can be used to diagnose periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, and depending on the severity of the disease, the dentist or hygienist may recommend a cleaning that is more involved than a regular dental hygiene cleaning. This special periodontal cleaning is called scaling and root planning, also commonly called a deep cleaning. In this procedure, tartar, plaque and toxins are scraped (scaling) from above and below the gum line and rough spots on the root surfaces are made smooth (planing) while the area is numb. This procedure helps prevent gum disease from spreading or progressing further.
Medications, special prescription mouth rinses and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and a recommended change in your routine dental cleaning frequency.
If the periodontal disease does not improve following our scaling and root planing, or is too severe, the dentist may recommend periodontal surgery to reduce further disease progression. Under these circumstances, the dentist will recommend that you see a Periodontist who specializes in the treatment of the bone support and other tissue around the teeth.