What is a Periodontal Cleaning?

what is a periodontal cleaningWhile regular dental cleanings are a typical, and vitally important, part of a good dental hygiene routine, there may come a time when a simple dental cleaning will not suffice. For instance, when gingivitis becomes a prominent threat, you may require a deeper periodontal cleaning, designed to treat gingivitis by cleaning away the bacteria that lead to its development. Unlike a regular cleaning, a periodontal cleaning may involve more than one visit, and though it isn’t typical, the more advanced preventive treatment might be necessary to protect your oral health, and more.

What Exactly Are We Cleaning?

A routine dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is intended to clean away the plaque and tartar that clings to your enamel, building up over time. The bacteria that make up the biofilms are the main factors in gingivitis and gum disease development. Some of these microbes will work their way underneath your gum line and attach themselves to the roots of your teeth. Given time, they will irritate and infect your periodontal tissues, leading to the red, swollen, bleeding gums of gingivitis.

Addressing the Root of the Problem

Scaling and root planning is a deep cleaning of the bacteria from under your gums, then smoothing the root surfaces to help keep them bacteria-free. In early cases of gingivitis, scaling and root planning may be able to reverse the infection, stopping gum disease from forming permanently and threatening your gums, teeth, and the rest of your oral structures.

If your gum disease has advanced, then you might require more thorough periodontal treatment, possibly through the use of lasers and the LANAP protocol. To replace irreversibly diseased gum tissues, we can perform a pinhole gum graft, which involves a minimally-invasive surgical procedure to graft healthy tissue to your gums.


To learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.