Besides your teeth, your gum health is equally important. The biggest threat to your gums is a preventable infection called periodontal (gum) disease. Although it’s preventable, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. In fact, at least 50% of Americans have a form of the infection, but most people don’t know they have it. Your dentist can easily detect it during a routine cleaning and checkup. If you have any signs of gum disease past red, inflamed tissue, we’ll recommend scaling and root planing to save your smile.
Gum disease is an infection caused by tartar buildup from by poor oral hygiene habits. If it’s not removed, it will infect the gum tissue and destroy the supporting structures of your teeth. Over time, it can lead to tooth loss and increase your risk of several health issues, like cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, and Alzheimer’s disease.
A deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planing, involves two separate procedures to restore your gum health during the early stage of the infection, called gingivitis. A special dental instrument is used to remove build up above and below the gum line. Bacteria and tartar will be removed as far down as the pocket’s depths. Another tool is used to smooth the root surfaces of your teeth. This discourages future accumulations and encourages your gum tissue to reattach to the teeth to resolve periodontal pockets.
Scaling and root planing are common steps in periodontal therapy in patients who have a variety of symptoms, such as:
If you have any signs of the infection, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. We will perform a thorough consultation to assess the condition of your gums, including the depths of the periodontal pockets and the amount of tartar build up.
We will use a local anesthetic to numb your gums before beginning the cleaning, so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Afterward, it’s normal for your gums to be a bit swollen or tender for a couple of days. It’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything that might cause irritation to the healing tissue, like chips, spices, or high temperatures.
Although your gums might be a bit sore, it’s important to maintain your oral hygiene at home to prevent the infection from reoccurring. We’ll explain how to brush and floss your teeth to allow your smile to heal.
If you have gum disease, it’s best to act fast to save your smile. Scaling and root planing are the first steps to restoring your oral health. If you have red, swollen, or bleeding gums, don’t wait. Contact our office today for periodontal therapy.