The primary purpose of oral irrigation is to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria from the interdental (between the teeth) and subgingival (under the gum line) regions of the mouth, therefore lessening the severity of periodontal disease. In conjunction with a scaling and root planing treatment plan, oral irrigation can help you achieve better periodontal health.
At-Home and In-Office Irrigation
At-home irrigation can be effective in reducing the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth, thus reducing the severity of your periodontal disease. Applying a pulsed-flow irrigator or a steady stream irrigator to the gum line helps to rid gums of debris left behind by less than perfect oral hygiene. After your periodontist or hygienist has completed your scaling and root planing treatment, he or she may use in-office oral irrigation to deliver antimicrobials below the gum line.
How is Oral Irrigation Used?
- Removing plaque, food particles, and other debris keeps gum pockets cleaner and smaller, helping gum tissue stay healthier.
- Halitosis (bad breath) usually results from food particles left between teeth, but a toothbrush alone may not reach deeply enough into gum pockets. Oral irrigation can flush out food particles and help clean above and below the gum line.
- Antimicrobial substances can be effective in eliminating and preventing certain types of harmful oral bacteria. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, using antimicrobials and antibiotics to control the disease make sense!