Do You Know What To Expect When Treating Periodontal Disease With Scaling and Root Planing?

Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease? This gum infection that can arise in your mouth is important not to ignore. There are treatment options that can help you battle this oral disease to help make sure you don’t lose your teeth to it. Thanks to modern technology, regular scaling and root planing can be done by our periodontist to restore your healthy gums.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Your teeth are anchored in the jawbone so you can bite, eat and chew your food. Your teeth are connected to the jawbone with supportive tissues that keep them from falling out from your biting force. In the early stages of periodontal disease or gingivitis, good gum care can even reverse the condition by stepping up your oral hygiene game and dental visits that remove tartar around the gum line. If gum disease isn’t properly treated (allowing the infection to worsen), then you may need periodontal intervention.

What Causes Periodontal Disease

  • Lax brushing and flossing habits
  • Chronic smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Diseases like diabetes
  • Medications for blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Family history of gum disease

What is Scaling and Root Planing

This treatment is the common line of defense when treating periodontal disease. It is a non-surgical deep cleaning that effectively gets rid of harmful tartar, plaque (biofilm), and oral bacteria by scrubbing the teeth around and under the gumline, including the tooth roots. This simple but effective treatment also helps boost gum tissue’s regeneration so it can surround the tooth to keep it solidly in place.

What to Expect

The goal of scaling and root planing is to thoroughly remove all plaque, hardened tartar (calculus), and clean stains off teeth and the roots. Usually performed in two visits, the cleaning is divided into two upper and lower quadrants on one side of the mouth, and the next set is at your second cleaning visit. First, you’ll be given local anesthesia that numbs the area being worked on so you won’t feel anything as well as keep hemorrhages from arising. You won’t be asleep, so you will be conscious during the treatment and will have some tenderness afterward.

For the scaling part of your treatment, we will perform a subgingival scaling that involves clearing out plaque and calculus. It will be done under (and between) the gums, the base of a dental crown, and around the roots of the tooth, using special tools like an ultrasonic tool or manual one. Remember, this is important, as you can’t remove this material yourself at home.

Next comes the root planing part of your treatment. Untreated periodontitis damages the tooth’s cementum (a calcified film covering your tooth’s root) and dentin (the second layer of a tooth underneath the enamel). Because of this, root planing allows our periodontist to smooth out rough surfaces and clear out any bacteria underneath the gums, between the gums and the basal part of your teeth’s crowns. It carefully cleans deeply under the gums, and especially the roots of the teeth and bone where the infection exists is essential.

Once the scaling and root planing are done, the area is flushed to clear out any bacterial residue and pressure is applied to stimulate gum tissue growth. You might be given an oral rinse to help prevent infection prevention if needed, as well as some pain reliever and anti-inflammatory meds for sensitivity around the area.

Follow-up Appointment and Maintenance

At your follow-up appointment, we will want to ensure that your gum tissue is firm and pink with no more bleeding. After your scaling and root planing, you can come in for periodic periodontic maintenance. If you have any questions about your gum health, we welcome you to give us a call and speak to one of our team members!

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