Maintaining meticulous dental hygiene and visiting Roam Dental for your routine dental exams and cleanings every six months will help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. If, however, you develop periodontal (gum) disease, you will require a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. The non-surgical procedure is one of the most effective ways to manage the condition and prevent its devastating effects on your oral health!
What Is Periodontal Disease and How Does It Develop?
Periodontal disease is an inflammation and infection of the gums, periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. The primary cause of this destructive condition is poor dental hygiene. When plaque and tartar are not removed, they accumulate around the gum line, irritating the gum tissue and causing inflammation.
Other factors contributing to gum disease include the natural aging process, crooked teeth, family history, smoking, and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Periodontal disease destroys the bone and tissues supporting the teeth, leading to bone loss and loose teeth. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
The following are the symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Red, swollen and bleeding gums, indicating gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease
- Receding gums that expose the tooth roots and result in longer-looking teeth
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth and tooth loss
Do You Need a Scaling and Root Planing Procedure?
During your routine dental exams and cleanings, we will evaluate every aspect of your oral health, including your gums and soft tissues. We will measure the depth of gum pockets, a process known as periodontal charting.
Periodontal pocket measurements for healthy teeth should be 1-3 mm deep. The measurements will increase as the periodontal disease progresses and the gums recede. Gum depth of 4 mm indicates gingivitis, while any higher measurements indicate periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease. If you have pocket measurements of 4 mm or greater, Dr. Barbu may recommend scaling and root planing to treat and manage the condition.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing, also known as "deep cleaning," is the first line of treatment for periodontal disease. The non-surgical procedure removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gum line and smooths out the tooth root surfaces. That helps promote gum tissue healing and prevent further bacteria and tartar buildup.
After scaling and root planing, your gums should begin to reattach to your clean and healthy tooth surfaces. If you have advanced chronic periodontitis, further treatments may be necessary.
What Happens After Scaling and Root Planing?
Six to eight weeks after your deep cleaning, you'll return to our office for an evaluation, and our hygienist will clean your teeth. If you need further treatment, we will discuss your options.
Depending on your unique needs, you may require periodontal maintenance appointments every 3-4 months. These visits include routine cleanings, thorough evaluations of your gum tissues, and measurements of your gum pocket depth. Our goal is to manage the condition and ensure your gums and bone stay healthy and sound.
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