Chronic periodontal or gum disease affects 47.2% of adults over 30 years in the United States. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth, bone, or tissue loss.
How are scaling and root planing related to gum disease? This procedure helps to treat the gum disease as it involves in-depth teeth cleaning. At Perio Health Professionals, scaling and root planing is one of the routine treatments we perform during your professional teeth cleaning to remove plaques and tartar buildup.
When Do You Need Scaling and Root Planing?
Plaque is always forming on the teeth because of the foods we eat, but poor oral hygiene can cause plaque buildup. This dental biofilm if not cleaned well, creates pockets between your teeth and gums that aggravate bacteria overgrowth, gum inflammation and eventually periodontal gum disease. Early detection of gum disease can be treated with professional cleaning. However, in severe cases scaling and root planing may be done.
Our dentist may prescribe teeth scaling and root planing if they notice any signs of gum disease. This treatment is done to prevent harmful effects caused by periodontal disease and keep your mouth healthy.
Poor dental hygiene is a common cause of periodontal disease. Other factors that can increase the risk include smoking, hormone changes, poor nutrition, aging, and family history.
Periodontal disease is characterized by deep pockets on the gums, but other symptoms include bad breath, inflamed, red, or tender gums, and bleeding gums.
Teeth Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Scaling and root planing treatment needs more than once a dental visit, and the procedure is done in two parts.
- Frist step: – Although it is a nonsurgical procedure, we use local anesthesia to numb you and decrease discomfort. With an ultrasonic tool and hand instrument, the hygienist will clean out the plaque above and between the gums.
- Second step: – The second part involves root planing, where the dentist smoothens the root using a scaling tool to reattach the gums to your teeth.
Other treatments that the dentist may perform:
- Host modulation, a treatment administered directly in your gums to reduce the chances of infection and negative effects of long-term periodontitis.
- Surgery is done in advanced periodontal disease to stop the progression of bone loss and the scaling and root planing have failed.
- Bone regeneration is done if the gum disease has caused bone loss to restore healthy gums. Often, this procedure is done on you if you need dental implants and don’t have enough bone to support them.
Our dentist may also prescribe additional treatment depending on your gum and teeth health such as antimicrobial agents and oral antibiotics.
Maintenance of the Gums
Whether you had surgical or nonsurgical periodontal treatments, you will need regular dental assessments every two months. The routine maintenance checkup will involve dental cleaning, measurement of pocket depth, gum recession, and examination of gum tissues.
Are There Any Associated Risks?
Scaling and root planing treatments have minimal risk, but you may develop;
- Bacteremia occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream.
- Gum bacterial infection in the gums, but the dentist will prescribe antibiotics or mouthwash to reduce the risk.
The dentist may also prescribe antibiotics before and after the procedure if you have heart problems, an impaired immunity, or have undergone major surgeries like an artificial hip.
In the first few days, you will experience tooth sensitivity, tender, and swollen gums.
Periodontal treatment side effects clear up within weeks, however, contact our doctor when you notice fever, failure to heal, and worsening pain.
Oral Health Maintenance
Gum diseases occur without warning, therefore, it is essential to have regular dental checkups. A good dental routine is also important in preventing periodontal disease as it will maintain your gum health.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush twice a day
- Floss daily to remove food particles between your teeth, crowns, or implants
- Replace your toothbrush regularly
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash and don’t smoke
With your biannual dental checkups, your dentist can detect signs of gum disease and treat them before it causes any damage to your gums. So, make an appointment with us for your dental assessment and cleaning to keep gum disease at bay.