Scaling & Root Planing

We use scaling and root planing to treat the early stages of gum disease.

Achieve healing from gum disease with the scaling and root planing procedure from our Auburn and Grass Valley, CA, dental team.

With scaling and root planing, the team at Sean P. Avera, DDS, MS, is able to treat gum disease within its early stages—preventing the progression of the condition to an advanced state. This treatment removes deposits of plaque from above and below the gum line and allows your gums to reattach to the teeth. Your smile will look and feel better than ever.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a general term for inflammation and infection in the gums. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, so it’s important that a dentist or periodontist address it as soon as possible. In most cases, the causes of gum disease include poor brushing and flossing, leading to a build-up of plaque on the surface of teeth. As the build-up increases, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, allowing bacteria to get in and infection to form.

In the early stages, you may not notice anything abnormal, but as it progresses, gum disease causes a number of symptoms, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Increased gum sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Change in bite

If you experience any of these symptoms, call our office to schedule an appointment. We will examine your teeth and provide you with a treatment recommendation.

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease progresses from mild to severe. Each stage presents with its own symptoms and concerns. The team of specialists at Sean P. Avera, DDS, MS, will assess your gums and determine the best treatment for your stage of gum disease.

  • Gingivitis: In this first stage of gum disease, plaque has built up on the teeth along the gum line. The gums are red and inflamed. They may bleed during brushing or flossing.
  • Periodontitis: In the second stage of gum disease, inflamed gums have begun to pull away from the teeth, exposing pockets where bacteria can settle. This gum recession leads to early stages of bone loss.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: Once gum disease becomes advanced, gums have pulled away from teeth enough to expose tooth roots. The pockets around teeth are large, leading to severe infection. Teeth also become loose due to lack of gum support, meaning teeth begin to fall out.

What is Scaling & Root Planing?

The typical first step in treatment of gum disease, scaling and root planing provides a deeper clean than a traditional dental cleaning. With this procedure, we are able to clean not only the surfaces of the teeth but also the surfaces below the gum line.

  • Scaling: This is the process by which we clean the plaque build-up on the surfaces of the teeth. We also clean the roots of teeth to ensure that any build-up or infection is removed.
  • Root Planing: During this process, we will smooth out the roots of the teeth to discourage any future accumulation of bacteria. This also provides a smooth surface for the gum tissue to reattach.

It is important that you have your gum disease treated as soon as possible. The more advanced the gum disease, the more intensive the treatment. While scaling and root planing is ideal for earlier stages, if your disease continues, we may need to move on to procedures such as osseous surgery.

When caught early, we are often able to provide conservative treatment to reverse the effects of gum disease and restore your healthy smile. Call us now to schedule an appointment and start on the treatment path.


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