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Dental and Oral Health Center

Gum injuries from teeth scaling

03/13/2008

Question:

I recently had a teeth scaling treatment only on the right side. The left side is to be done later. Once the general anesthesia wore off, I was in excruciating pain. After taking a very close look at my gums, I found that I had multiple lesions on my gums, leaving my gum line lower than it previously was. Gum recession and some bone loss is why I had this procedure done in the first place. Also, I found that the gum tissue that peaks between my teeth was missing in a number of areas, leaving a gap, hole or large space between many of my teeth. It has been almost a week now and I am still taking ibuprofen around the clock because of the aching pain. Before this procedure I was in no pain, had no infection nor inflammation. I called my periodontist`s office on Friday only to find he had already left for the day. I will speak to him on Monday.

My concerns are: Is it normal to cause this kind of injuries to the gums with teeth scaling? Also, will my gums rejuvenate and close the holes/gaps between my teeth? Are there any specific questions I should ask my periodontist? In your view, hasn`t this only made my problems with gum recession worse? Is there anywhere else you can direct me for answers? Thank you.

Answer:

Sensitivity especially to cold is normal after this procedure. If you have severe bone loss around your teeth and/or decayed root surface, teeth may become symptomatic due to pulpal response to treatment.

Lesions at the soft tissue level are not normal. Some patients may develop viral apthous lesions if they are carriers for herpes virus (basically due to losing the balance between bacteria and virus). This should resolve within 10 days period.

The reason for experiencing more space between your teeth or seeing more tooth structure with exposed root surfaces is due to severity of bone loss that you have. With this type of treatment, inflammation at the soft tissue goes away and soft tissue goes down to where the bone is. The goal of the treatment is actually to reduce deep pockets and recession at gum line is expected as a treatment outcome.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University