Full Mouth Disinfection


This treatment is an intensive hygiene-maintenance regime only used for those patients who have developed a serve case of gum disease – often referred to as periodontitis. Without this treatment, periodontitis can lead to permanent toothless and severe discomfort.


What is a full mouth disinfection?

A full mouth disinfection in an intensive course of treatments used to encourage gums that have been infected by severe gum disease to regrown and heal. The primary aim of the treatment is to leave you with healthier, healing gums which cannot be achieved without this treatment. Through multiple stages, your dentist will work with you on scaling each areas of hard calculus, educating you on correct oral hygiene, and helping to heal your gums.

What will happen before the treatment?

Prior to any treatment, you will need to undergo an initial examination where your dentist, or a specialist if necessary, will need to medically diagnose the periodontitis. From there, your dentist will be able to build a picture of your circumstances and the treatments you’ll need.

You will have a one-to-one session with your dentist, or possibly a hygienist, about the level of plaque build-up they’ve found. They will then begin to introduce you to the best practices of oral hygiene and teach you the most effective ways of getting rid of plaque before it can harden into calculus.

Measurements will also be taken before the treatment, which will be re-done after the treatment and healing has had time to regrow some of the lost, soft tissue. Your dentist may also take some images and x-rays of your mouth, and this will give them a much better understanding of how the periodontitis has affected the bone underneath the gum.

What happens during the treatment?

The entire treatment can take one to two sessions, and this will depend on the severity of the periodontitis you are faced with. These treatment appointments will be booked once you’ve undergone the initial stages and are happy to go ahead. If both the upper and lower jaws are showing problems from periodontitis, you will need two appointments – which will occur within 24 hours of each other.

Each half of the mouth will be treated per appointment and will usually take upwards of an hour to complete (this will vary from patient-to-patient). During this session, every area of soft plaque and tartar build-up will be scaled from the surface of the teeth. This will be done using a combination of effective dental instruments. A local anaesthetic will be administered for sections of scaling to reduce the risk of pain.

If your dentist believes damage has been done under the gum lining, scaling will be done there too to encourage healing of the jaw bone. The treatment will then be finishing by flushing out the gums – which includes the gum pockets – with a chlorhexidine mouth rinse.

This antiseptics mouthwash will be given to you for use at home as well and should be done for up to a month after treatment. You will be advised not to use the mouth rinse within 30-minutes of brushing your teeth, as the ingredients of some toothpastes can often prevent the mouth rinse from being effective.

What happens after the treatment?

You will need to come back to the practice multiple times throughout the healing process. This gives your dentist enough time to re-evaluate how your gums are healing and how well you are following up the treatment with effective oral care.

A re-assessment appointment will be booked after all the check-ups. This appointment will be used to re-take measurements of the gums and ensure healing is occurring (and your dentist will scale any reformed calculus and plaque).