Scaling and root planing are vital procedures for patients with active periodontal disease. They help reduce the size of periodontal pockets and boost gum health, preventing future tooth loss.
Dentists typically recommend that patients undergo scaling and root planing every few years, depending on their condition's progress.
About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is one of today's leading causes of tooth loss. This condition starts with gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that causes bleeding when brushing and flossing. Gingivitis develops when patients do not remove all plaque from their teeth daily. Plaque hardens into tartar, which only a dentist or hygienist can remove. If you do not halt gingivitis through conscientious home care, it will progress to periodontitis, which is irreversible.
Patients with periodontitis develop deep pockets between the gums and teeth where plaque and tartar (calculus) collect. The accumulated waste products of plaque and tartar bacteria cause infection and gum recession. As periodontitis worsens, the bone surrounding the teeth weakens. Weakened bone allows teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Scaling and root planing can help to manage periodontal disease and prevent future tooth loss. These procedures can effectively reduce the severity of the infection and inflammation affecting your gums.
Dentists typically perform scaling and root planing in two or more appointments, dividing the mouth into halves or quadrants.
Scaling begins with an exam that determines the depth of your periodontal pockets and assesses bone health using X-rays. The dentist measures the pockets using a probe and decides which areas need deep cleaning. An ultrasonic or metal instrument called a scaler gently removes tartar from the tooth surface and any periodontal pockets. Scaling is not difficult, but you may wish to receive local anesthesia in your gums to prevent discomfort.
During root planing, the dentist or hygienist smooths the root surfaces to promote healthy gum attachment and reduce the size of the periodontal pockets. Shallower pockets mean keeping dangerous bacteria away from your tooth roots and bone.
The Importance of Treating Gum Disease
If your dentist informs you that you have periodontal disease, don't hesitate to begin treatment. The sooner you intervene in the gum disease cycle, the more likely you will be able to save your teeth.
Watch out for the signs of advancing gum disease, like increased bleeding, swelling, unexplained bad breath, and more space between teeth.
Call Wilson Park Dental
Keeping gum disease in check is key to preserving healthy teeth for a lifetime. Conscientious teeth and gum care can make all the difference in controlling periodontal disease. With professional scaling and root planing, you can combat the effects of gum disease. Please call our office at 605-343-9352 to make an appointment for periodontal care today.