Instructions for Deep Cleaning

Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning) for Periodontal Disease


Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when bacteria in plaque (sticky, colorless film that sticks to your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed. In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. Gingivitis only effects the gums and can be reversed with consistent and good brushing, flossing and routine cleanings.


Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease). With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. The longer plaque and bacteria stay under the gums, the more irritated your gums can become. Toxins released by bacteria stimulate your body’s inflammatory response and in essence, the body turns on itself and destroys the supporting tissues and bone around the teeth creating pockets. Pockets can become increasingly difficult to clean and maintain with regular brushing and flossing if they progress down the roots. Eventually, your gums will recede and ultimately, your teeth can become loose.


Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning) is a procedure that involves removing bacteria, plaque and tarter from the root surfaces involved with the pockets. We do this with hand instruments and ultrasonic tips. The goal of this treatment is to allow reattachment of the gums to the clean root surface and to shrink the periodontal pockets to levels that can be maintained by daily oral hygiene. The following guidelines have been prepared for you in order to maximize healing and minimize any discomfort.

  • You may take an over the counter pain medicine like ibuprofen (advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Avoid asprin.
  • Rinse with warm salt water- 1 tsp salt + 8oz of water before bed the first night
  • After brushing and flossing, rinse with Chlorhexidine (peridex), for 30 seconds in the morning and the evening for 10days. Do not rinse with water afterwards.


Avoid strong spicy seasonings, and hard crunchy for the next few days.


Smoking should be stopped. Success of the treatment will be substantially reduced by the cigarette smoke chemicals in your body.


As the tissues heal, some temporary sensitivity to cold may occur. Use a desensitizing toothpaste (such as Sensodyne®), or fluoride gel (such as Prevident® )frequently (at least 4 times/day) for 1 to 2 weeks. Also, the cleaner the teeth are kept, the less sensitive they will be.


Faithfully use any other oral hygiene aids that have been recommended (floss, Sonicare®, Proxabrush®, Gel-Kam® fluoride, Peridex® mouthrinse, etc).


You will be placed on a 3-4 month perio-maintenance cleaning schedule until the disease is stabilized or arrested. Your gum appearance, pocket depths and oral hygiene are taken into consideration when deciding if you can return to a 6mo schedule.