Periodontal Cleanings for People with Gum Disease Concerns in Seattle, Washington

Worried about gum disease? You are not alone. Almost half of all adults in the USA suffer from gum disease. Thankfully, Dr. Iversen and the rest of the staff at Junction Dental know how to diagnose and treat gum disease, so you can have a healthier mouth. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease, periodontal cleanings, and reasons why you should not leave gum disease untreated.

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What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis, is the inflammation and destruction of the soft and hard tissues (bone) around your teeth.  It is a serious disease process that can ultimately result in loss of your teeth. Symptoms of gum disease include:

  •     Swollen gums
  •     Tender gums
  •     Gums that bleed easily
  •     Gums that are a dark red or purplish color
  •     Bad breath
  •     Pus between your gums and teeth
  •     Loose teeth
  •     Pain when chewing
  •     Receding gums that show more of your teeth
  •     Changes in the spacing of your teeth or the bite of your teeth

Gum disease is usually caused by plaque that forms on your teeth.. If left alone, the plaque hardens into tartar below your gumline, and can cause irritation and inflammation in your gum tissues. This inflammation process stimulates your body’s immune system which then tries to remove the bacteria but in the process removes tissue and bone as well.

What Are Periodontal Cleanings?

If your dentist notices symptoms of gum disease in your mouth, you may need a periodontal cleaning. This type of treatment is a deep dental cleaning that removes tartar and harmful pathogens from root surfaces below your gumline.

How is a deep dental cleaning different from a routine cleaning?

A periodontal cleaning is not the same as a routine dental cleaning. A regular cleaning is intended to clean above the gumline. They are adequate for people who are periodontally healthy. Deep dental cleanings focus on removing tartar and microorganisms below the gum line around the teeth and roots.

What happens during a periodontal cleaning?

Periodontal cleanings involve gum scaling and root planing. Teeth scaling is when the hygienist thoroughly removes the plaque and tartar above and below the gumline, getting all the way to the bottom of the pocket. Root planing is when the hygienist smooths out your tooth roots, so your gums will develop a healthy attachment to your teeth. This deep cleaning process can be uncomfortable, so normally, a local anesthetic is applied first.

How long does a deep dental cleaning take?

A deep dental cleaning appointment at Junction Dental typically takes 90 minutes. This time includes applying the anesthetic for your comfort and cleaning the upper and lower teeth and gums on either the right or left side of your mouth. Usually, you will need to schedule two appointments to get both sides of your mouth deep cleaned.

What can you expect after a deep dental cleaning?

You can expect soreness of your teeth and gums for about 48 hours after the deep dental cleaning. OTC pain medications are helpful. 

You may want to avoid very hot or very cold food and drinks and focus on a soft diet for the first 48 hours. 

Our staff will recommend an appropriate antiseptic mouth rinse for you to use. A deep dental cleaning is only a part of the overall treatment process. Consistent and effective home care is essential to long-term success in stopping gum disease. We will also educate you on other high risk factors for gum disease, such as smoking and uncontrolled diabetes.

Why Shouldn’t You Leave Periodontal Concerns Untreated?

If periodontal disease is left untreated, the gums remain chronically inflamed. Your body reacts by destroying the bone around your teeth. Eventually, your teeth may become loose or fall out, and abscesses can form.

How Much Does a Deep Dental Cleaning Cost?

The cost will vary depending on how severe your periodontitis is. Most dental insurance plans cover deep dental cleanings. Please contact our West Seattle family dentistry for specific pricing questions.

Trust the Experts at Junction Dental for All Your Periodontal Concerns

At Junction Dental, we offer a high standard of care for all patients with periodontal disease. We provide excellent clarity and justification when deciding if a deep dental cleaning is necessary. You can count on our experience and professionalism during every aspect of your care. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask us. We do everything we can to ensure you understand the process, the costs, and the reasons for treatment.

If you have concerns about your gum health, schedule an appointment at our West Seattle office. We’ll help you get your gums back to health.