Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontal disease is incredibly common, affecting fifty percent of all adult Americans. Even if you feel as though you have no symptoms of this disorder, there is a good chance that you may be suffering from it without knowing it. That is because, for many people, this disease is often painless in its early stages. When gum disease is allowed to progress to a more advanced stage, it can lead to lingering complications and even endanger your health. One of the ways that we here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry can help treat and manage periodontal disease in our patients is a procedure known as scaling and root planing.
What Happens During a Scaling and Root Planing?
Understanding the process of scaling and root planing first starts with understanding why we recommend it to our patients, as it is a highly effective treatment option for patients who have advanced gum disease. Gum disease can progress in stages, and the earliest stage of it is known as gingivitis. When you catch your gum disease at this stage, it is curable and can be fully reversed. Signs that you may have gingivitis include blood in your saliva after you brush or floss your teeth, bad breath (also known as halitosis), red or swollen gums, and a receding gumline.
You can prevent gum disease by introducing a strong oral health regimen at home and making sure you schedule appointments with us every six months for a checkup and a cleaning. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, both morning and evening, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use a pea-sized drop of fluoridated toothpaste to help keep your teeth strong. After you brush, make sure you floss at least once per day. Use an 18-inch length of floss and work it between each tooth and up under your gum line to remove any trapped debris. Use a clean piece of floss per tooth to avoid spreading germs around.
When It Goes From Bad To Worse
Once your gum disease progresses, it is no longer known as gingivitis. It is now called periodontitis or periodontal disease. At this point, it cannot be cured, and it must be treated as a chronic disease. Please understand that even though periodontal disease is common, it does not mean that it is harmless or benign. If you have it, it is vital that you manage the symptoms of it to prevent lasting problems from occurring to you later in life. Periodontal disease can lead to major health issues like respiratory disease, cancer, heart attack, stroke, and even death.
One way we treat periodontal disease is a procedure known as scaling and root planing. This is a two-step procedure and starts with the scaling. Scaling involves using either a manual or an ultrasonic tooth scaler (which often looks like a small metal hook) to remove all hardened calculus from your teeth. Once your teeth are scaled, we will then begin the root planing. This involves cleaning up under your gumline, then polishing the tooth root until it is nice and smooth. This removes not only the buildup but all bumps and divots in your teeth. Root planing not only makes it harder for bacteria to build back up on your roots but also makes it easier for your gums to reattach to your teeth. This can keep your gum recession from getting worse.
If you are interested in learning more about scaling and root planing, or are ready to set up an appointment with us here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry, please give us a call at (715) 841-9161 today!