Gum Disease, Root Scaling and Planing: What You Should Know

Gum Disease, Root Scaling and Planing: What You Should Know

Jul 01, 2021

Our teeth and gums are always at risk for plaque and tartar buildup. Typically, this buildup is the “mother” of most dental problems, including cavities and gum disease. Even if you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss them before sleeping, there is always a chance that you won’t get rid of all food particles.

Luckily, you can get rid of any buildup through the help of a dentist. The dentist will employ several procedures, including deep cleaning that involves the use of root scaling and planing procedures. This process gets rid of any buildup, keeping your gums healthy and preventing gum disease. Learn more about it and make the right decision.

When Does One Require Scaling?

Your dentist will most probably recommend root scaling & planing treatment if you are a high risk of chronic gum disease. Scaling and planing help stop the adverse effects of gum disease and keeps your mouth healthy.

Chronic gum disease occurs after bacteria from a plaque, or tartar buildup pulls away from the gums from the teeth. By doing so, it causes deep pockets to grow between the gums and teeth, encouraging even more bacteria to settle there. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Bone loss
  • Tissue loss
  • Moving teeth

This infection affects over half of US adults aged 30 years and above. The infection is caused by several things, but the most common one being poor oral hygiene. However, it can also be caused by smoking, aging, a family history of gum disease, poor nutrition, and some medications.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

The obvious sign of the periodontal disease is deep pockets between teeth and gums. However, there are other signs of gum disease, which include:

  • Inflamed, red, and tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Changes in your bite
  • Permanent teeth changing positions

Root Scaling and Planing Procedure

Typically, scaling is done in a dentist’s office, and it does not take more than one visit to the dentist. However, you may need to schedule more than one visit to the dentist if your condition is severe. Sometimes, your dentist may have to use local anesthesia, especially if your condition is severe and it is causing pain. Discuss this with your dentist if you’re concerned about pain.

When you’re comfortable on the dentist’s chair, he will begin the scaling procedure. This procedure involves the scraping of the plaque buildup and cleaning the large pockets caused by gum disease. He will then smoothen your teeth roots using scaling tools to help your gums reattach to the teeth.

Depending on your gums and teeth’ health, your dentist will recommend additional procedures to get rid of the gum disease once and for all. If the root scaling and planing procedure are enough to cure your infection, your dentist will provide antibiotics to help you heal even faster.

The dentist may also administer the medication directly to the gums through a procedure we call host modulation. This procedure can help correct the negative long-term effects caused by periodontitis. It also reduces the chances of gum disease coming back.

Benefits of Teeth Scaling and Planing

Teeth scaling is often the standard gold treatment for periodontitis. The procedure improves the pockets caused by gum disease by up to 5 millimeters on average. Once the deep pockets are resolved, it decreases the risk of tooth, tissue, or bone loss.

Risks of Teeth Scaling

The scaling and planing procedure is safe, and you don’t need to worry about it. The only problem is you may develop some bacterial infections after the procedure. The infections are not life-threatening or anything. Your dentist will recommend a mouthwash or antibiotics you can use for a few days or weeks to prevent infections. However, be sure to call the doctor if you experience any of the following signs:

  • Extreme fever
  • Delayed healing
  • Worsening pain

Remember, it is normal to experience increased sensitivity and some pain a few days after the treatment. However, these side effects should clear up within a few days.

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Talk to us if you are looking for cosmetic dentistry near you, and let us help you. We provide cosmetic dentistry in Carlsbad, CA, and you can also count on us for preventive and restorative procedures. Book an appointment now.