What Happens During Periodontal Cleaning to Treat Gum Disease?

What Happens During Periodontal Cleaning to Treat Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects many individuals’ oral health. Understanding the progression and treatment of gum disease is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. One effective treatment is periodontal cleaning, which can help manage the condition and improve gum health. In this article, we will delve into what happens during a periodontal cleaning and the various stages involved in treating gum disease.

Understanding Gum Disease

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It begins as gingivitis and can progress to more severe forms like periodontitis if left untreated.

Stages of Gum Disease

  • Gingivitis: The earliest stage, characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily.
  • Periodontitis: As plaque spreads below the gum line, the body’s immune response can begin to break down the bone and connective tissue holding teeth in place.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: In the most severe stage, the fibers and bone supporting the teeth are destroyed, which can lead to tooth loss.

Risk Factors for Developing Gum Disease

Several factors can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease, including smoking, poor oral hygiene, genetic predisposition, certain illnesses and medications, and hormonal changes.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Detecting Gum Disease

Common signs of gum disease include persistent bad breath, red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose teeth, and receding gums or longer-appearing teeth.

Periodontal Cleaning Explained

Initial Assessment and Diagnosis

Dentists begin with a thorough examination to assess the extent of gum disease and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Cosmetic Dentistry – Fillings, Veneers, and Dental Bonding

While addressing gum health, individuals may also be interested by click here to explore cosmetic dentistry options for a complete oral makeover, including procedures such as fillings, veneers, and dental bonding.

The Procedure of Periodontal Cleaning

What to Expect During Treatment

Patient comfort is a priority during periodontal cleanings, and dentists may offer local anesthesia to minimize any discomfort.

Periodontal Cleaning

During a Greenville periodontal disease deep cleaning, dentists perform two main procedures – scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing smooths out the root surfaces, helping the gums reattach to the teeth.

Periodontal Cleaning Steps

  1. Patient Preparation: Managing any discomfort with anesthesia or sedation if needed.
  2. Scaling: Removing plaque and tartar buildup.
  3. Root Planing: Smoothing the roots to promote healing.
  4. Post-Treatment Care: Providing instructions for at-home care and follow-up appointments.

Benefits of Periodontal Cleaning

Periodontal cleanings are vital procedures for anyone suffering from gum disease. These cleanings extend beyond the scope of a regular dental checkup, targeting the areas beneath the gumline to ensure a deeper, more extensive cleaning. Below, we list the specific benefits patients can gain from periodontal cleanings:

  • Reduction of Inflammation: Inflammation is a hallmark of gum disease, and periodontal cleanings directly address this issue by removing the buildup of plaque and tartar, which contribute to it.
  • Prevention of Tooth Loss: By addressing the underlying cause of gum disease, periodontal cleanings can help prevent the loss of teeth, which is often a result of advanced periodontal disease.
  • Decrease in Pocket Depths: Periodontal pockets are spaces around the teeth that are too deep for proper cleaning with standard home care. Periodontal cleaning helps reduce these pocket depths, making at-home oral hygiene more effective.
  • Better Breath: Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can often be attributed to gum disease. Removing the bacteria and deposits from periodontal pockets often leads to fresher breath.
  • Improved Overall Health: Research has linked periodontal disease to systemic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. A thorough cleaning can help lower the risk of these associated health problems.
  • Oral Comfort: Pain and discomfort from swollen, bleeding gums can be alleviated through periodontal cleaning, making everyday actions such as eating and speaking more comfortable.
  • Enhanced Smile: Periodontal disease can lead to receding gums, which can make teeth look longer and affect the smile. With periodontal treatment, the aesthetics of the gums and teeth can be improved.
  • Foundation for Restorative Procedures: For those needing restorative dental work such as implants, a periodontal cleaning can prepare the mouth by creating a healthier environment for these procedures.
  • Improved Response to Dental Treatments: Healthy gums respond better to various dental treatments, including orthodontics, crowns, and bridges. A clean foundation allows for optimal outcomes with these procedures.
  • Stabilization of Gum and Bone Structure: Halting the progression of gum disease helps to stabilize and maintain the existing bone and gum structure, which is essential for long-term dental health.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Maintaining Oral Hygiene Post-Cleaning

Patients will receive guidance on daily oral hygiene practices to maintain the results of the periodontal cleaning and prevent the recurrence of gum disease.

Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Attending regular dental checkups and cleanings is critical to monitor oral health and address any issues promptly.

Advanced Treatments for Gum Disease

Surgical Options

In cases where non-surgical treatments are not sufficient, surgical options such as flap surgery, bone grafts, or soft tissue grafts may be recommended.

Surgical Tooth Extractions

Occasionally, severely affected teeth may need to be extracted to preserve oral health. For instance, a wisdom tooth extraction at Greenville Family Dentistry may be performed if wisdom teeth contribute to periodontal issues.


Periodontal cleaning is a foundational treatment for combating gum disease. By understanding the process and the importance of following through with aftercare, individuals can significantly improve their oral health and prevent the progression of this common dental condition.


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