Like cavities, gum disease is caused by a buildup of dental plaque bacteria, resulting in dental calculus, or dental tartar. Over time, dental plaque and its cohorts will creep beneath the gum line, forming “pockets” between the teeth and gums. The larger these pockets grow, the worse gum disease gets. Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective, non-surgical ways to treat gum disease before it becomes a real problem. Scaling and root planing deep cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots.
Scaling is the process of removing dental tartar buildup from the surfaces of the teeth. Root planing is the process of smoothing out the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. If you have gum disease or gum pocketing, the gum pockets around the teeth will have deepened, thereby allowing tartar deposits to form under the gum line. A careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pockets and smoothing the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins will help ensure that your gum disease is controlled.
Helpful tips to Keep in Mind
- Scaling and root planing does not usually cause much discomfort, but you my experience some soreness afterwards, since deeper regions under the gums have been cleaned.
- Your teeth themselves may become a bit more sensitive to temperature, and bleeding might occur for a little while after your procedure.
- Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, work very well to alleviate discomfort, as do ice packs applied to the outside of the face around the treated area.
- Brushing and flossing will have to be done more gently to avoid aggravating any bruised or tender gum areas. We’ll show you the best methods for keeping your teeth clean during this time.
- Scaling and root planing is a simple procedure that can work very well to stop gum disease. If you maintain good dental care after the procedure, the progression of your gum disease should stop, and your gums will heal and become firm and pink again in no time!
If you address your gum disease before it becomes too late, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after-care is vital. In order to keep your teeth in good shape, and resist future occurrences of gum disease, you must brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, and have regular dental checkups. Even after a successful scaling and root planing procedure, if you don’t take care of your teeth properly it’s quite likely that you’ll develop gum disease again.
Cirocco Dental Centers in Center Valley, PA provides Scaling and Root Planning services for: Allentown PA, Whitehall PA, Bethlehem PA, Fogelsville PA, Emmaus PA, Center Valley Pa, Coopersburg PA, Lehigh Valley, Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery Co and surrounding areas.