Scaling and Root Planing
Brushing and flossing daily are essential habits for maintaining the health of your mouth. It is also important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. Ignoring any of these steps in your oral care routine can significantly increase your risk of developing gum disease. If gum disease does occur, treatment is needed as soon as possible. Without treatment, gum disease only continues to get worse, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss. At Crown Hill Smiles, we can help to restore the health of your mouth in the event of gum disease with scaling and root planing.
What Happens When You Have Gum Disease?
When gum disease begins, it strikes quietly. It occurs when bacteria and plaque build up in your mouth and irritate the sensitive gum tissue. This irritation triggers an inflammatory response from the immune system, and the gums swell. This early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is easily treated. However, it often goes undetected. The symptoms, red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss, are either ignored or thought to be the result of brushing too hard. When gingivitis goes untreated, the swollen gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, and pockets form. Bacteria collect in these pockets, and cannot be accessed with your regular toothbrush and floss. These bacteria begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, weakening them. Over time, the gums begin to recede, the teeth become loose, and you may even suffer tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a common procedure done to treat gum disease when it has progressed into more advanced stages. It is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth, designed to remove all buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, including your roots, so that the gums can reattach to the teeth and your mouth can heal.
Before undergoing scaling and root planing, we first conduct an exam to determine the extent of your gum disease, and if this treatment is the best option for your needs. This exam involves assessing the buildup on your teeth, measuring your periodontal pockets and taking x-rays to see the damage below the gumline. If scaling and root planing is determined to the best course of action, we move ahead with treatment.
Scaling and root planing is done under a local anesthetic. While the procedure is minimally invasive, your gums may be sensitive, so the anesthetic will help you to remain comfortable during your procedure. Scaling is the thorough scraping of all visible surfaces of your teeth, with special attention paid to the gumline. Using a specialized scaler, we work to remove plaque, tartar, bacteria and all another buildup. Root planing is the smoothing of the surfaces of your tooth roots. We remove all plaque, bacteria and other toxins, creating a smooth surface that bacteria have a harder time adhering to. When we are done cleaning your teeth, an antibacterial rinse is used to kill any lingering bacteria.
The Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing offers numerous benefits.
If you suspect you have gum disease, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent the disease from getting worse and causing serious complications. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Crown Hill Smiles today at (206) 204-9623.