Scaling and root planing are a form of treatment for gum disease, or periodontal disease, in which the buildup of plaque and tartar is removed from the mouth. Over time, plaque, which is a film of bacteria, can grow on the teeth, and if the teeth and gums are not cleaned well enough, this film can also develop on the gums themselves, causing gum disease. This film buildup can cause the gums to recede from the teeth, creating pocketed areas that hold even more bacteria. These cannot be cleaned by even the most vigorous brushing, and if the film and pockets develop to the point that the gums are moderately or severely diseased, then a routine dental cleaning will not help, either. That’s when scaling and root planing are needed.
The Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease
Gum disease usually develops slowly over time. As it progresses, the health of the entire mouth is jeopardized as the infection invades the gum and even the tissue of the surrounding bone. This alters the shape of the face as well as the bite itself and makes it more difficult to chew and to speak. The bacteria that accumulates in the plaque can also travel through the bloodstream to the valves inside the heart, and gum disease has been linked to health problems like heart disease and stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and even dementia. The sooner gum disease is treated, the less likely it is to lead to these other health complications, and the less expensive and invasive the treatment will need to be. Scaling and planing are thorough cleaning treatments used to treat gum disease that is moderate or severe.
Methods of Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are non-surgical treatments in which the dentist uses instruments to clean away diseased tissue below the gum line. A local anesthetic like Novocain is usually given into the area to numb the tissue. The procedure is not painful and can often be done in one visit. The dentist may use hand-held instruments or ultrasonic instruments to do the scaling, or may even use both for different areas of the mouth. With the hand-held instruments, the plaque and tartar are removed, or scaled, manually from the teeth above and below the gum line. Ultrasonic instruments are used to chip away the tartar and then sort of power-wash the area until it is clean. There may be some gum tenderness after the procedure, but this lasts less than 24 hours.
Call to Schedule an Appointment With a California Periodontal Dentist Today
If you are suffering from gum disease, call to schedule an appointment with a California periodontal dentist today. The experienced dental professionals at the iSmile Dental Spa will treat your gum disease with modern scaling and root planing techniques that will noticeably improve your oral and general health. Leaving gum disease untreated is not a good option, and our compassionate staff can help you preserve your smile for years to come. We serve Carmichael, Arden-Arcade, Rancho Cordova, Fair Oaks, North Highlands and surrounding communities. Check out our website at ismiledentalspa.com or give us a call at 916-979-7122 and let us evaluate your gum disease and help you to choose a method of treatment that works for you.