Using Scaling and Root Planing to Treat Gum Disease

Have you been diagnosed with gum disease or periodontal disease? If so, you are not alone. A 2015 study affirmed that chronic periodontitis afflicted 47.2% of adults who were over 30 years old in the U.S. This oral condition, which is a result of the harmful effects of plaque – a sticky bacterial film that is always growing on our teeth – is why your dentist tells you to brush and floss daily.

Scaling and Root Planing

As a non-surgical treatment, a deep cleaning – called scaling and root planing – becomes necessary when bacteria and their toxic by-products damage the root surfaces. This procedure specifically focuses on the area under the gum line and along the root. The bacteria can also harden and stick to teeth like the calculus that builds up on the teeth. The next step is removing bacteria off of the diseased root surfaces by actually planing the roots beneath the gums to allow the gum tissues to heal. The cementum and surface dentin that is laden with microorganisms, toxins and tartar are carefully removed and smoothed out. This allows the gum tissue to recover and heal and keep bacteria from accumulating in the future.

Our periodontist will be able to know when the root surface is thoroughly cleaned by the way it feels and how the gum tissues appear when all the hard deposits are gone. You may have tooth sensitivity and discomfort for a few days to a week; rinsing with a saline solution or antimicrobial mouthwash can help.

Preventing Future and Further Treatment

Aside from the healing of the gum tissue, the deep cleaning of a scaling and root planing treatment can eliminate the need for more costly dental treatment down the road. It actively prevents the advancement of gum disease and restores healthy gum tissue. It also helps keep your natural teeth intact by preventing decay, infection, and gum pockets between the gums and the tooth roots. Scaling and root planing is also relatively painless since we use a local anesthetic to minimize any potential discomfort. Any pain or bleeding you might experience after treatment generally diminishes after the first few days.

Our periodontal team is here to help you maintain healthy gums for a healthier smile. We have extensive experience and excellent results in treating patients with gum disease. Together, we can help you achieve the smile you want with the quality treatment and care you deserve. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions concerning your teeth and gums. We are always happy to help!