Types of Dental Cleaning and What to Expect After

periodontal cleaning

What should I expect immediately after a dental cleaning? For example, will I experience pain or swelling or anything like that?

If it’s a traditional preventative dental cleaning, most likely not. You might feel a couple of areas where you may have a little bit of sensitivity with your gums. These are usually areas where you can be focusing a little bit more. I usually tell people that if they have any pain beyond what they would need to take medicine for a headache for to let us know, because that’s something that’s atypical.

We do tend to be a little bit more aggressive making sure that your teeth are nice and super clean, especially if somebody’s not adequately cleaning an area at home. They may have a little bit of tenderness. However, for a preventative cleaning, you shouldn’t have any type of swelling or bruising, anything like that. That’s not common.

You mentioned for a traditional dental cleaning. What is an example of a non-traditional cleaning?

Someone who is considered to have a healthy mouth, they don’t have any type of periodontal disease. If someone has periodontal disease, we would do a cleaning where we actually get below the gum line.

Usually, it requires some local anesthesia to have that done. After that, we will give some instructions to possibly use some mouth rinses and things to make it feel a little bit more comfortable. With this type of periodontal treatment, there does tend to be a little bit more discomfort but not typically any swelling or bruising. I may recommend that people take some Tylenol or Advil, or whatever they’d normally take, for a headache afterwards.

What is that called when you have to get below the gum line?

It’s what’s called scaling or root planing, but it’s just getting below the gum line and removing any type of what we call biofilm or bacteria or calculus to make sure that it gets to the point of happy and healthy, and gets to the point where you can keep it clean at home.


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