Root Planing and Scaling
Periodontal gum disease is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the gum that if left untreated, can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. If your dentist has diagnosed you with periodontal gum disease, though it seems bad, know that you are not alone. According to the American Dental Association, more than 64 million Americans have some form of gum disease.
The good news is that periodontal gum disease is treatable, curable and preventable. Through periodontal maintenance procedures like root planing and scaling your dentist is able to not only reverse the effects of periodontal gum disease, but also prevent the disease from progressing.
What Is Root Planing and Scaling?
Sometimes, despite our every effort to practice proper oral hygiene, oral health issues arise anyway. If you visit your dentist as you should (recommended every six months) for a routine cleaning then you are more than likely aware of the cleaning process that is involved. Your dental hygienist cleans the surface of the teeth by scaling the surface area of the tooth above the gum line in an effort to remove plaque and tartar buildup. She will then polish the teeth to smooth the surface and remove stains. This routine cleaning procedure is done to prevent the buildup of plaque and calculus that if left untreated will progress into periodontal gum disease.
If you show symptoms of gum disease, however, your dentist will use another cleaning method called root planing and scaling to treat your teeth and gums. Root planing and scaling is a non-surgical periodontal maintenance procedure done to treat the symptoms associated with gum disease and to prevent the disease from progressing. Some dentist and/or hygienist refer to root planing and scaling as a “deep clean” because it goes beyond the tooth’s surface down below the gum line.
How Will My Dentist Determine If I Need a Root Planing and Scaling Treatment?
Healthy gum tissue that surrounds the gums should fit tightly against the teeth. If your dentist notices that your gums are receding or pulling away from the tooth he will proceed to measure the gum pockets. If the gum pockets measure more than 4 millimeters deep and contain a buildup of tartar, he will likely recommend a root planing and scaling cleaning procedure.
What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Gum Disease?
Since the periodontal gum disease is not always painful or uncomfortable and because if left untreated, it can progress to a more severe stage where bone and tooth loss are common, it is therefore important to be aware of the symptoms associated with gum disease.
The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth
- Redness and/or bleeding of the gums
- Receding gums or gums that pull away from the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus surrounding the gums at the base of the tooth
It is important to understand when looking for the symptoms of periodontal gum disease that gum disease does not always affect the entire mouth, but can in some cases occur in just one quadrant of the oral cavity.
If you have noticeable symptoms of gum disease, it is important to contact our office at (602) 842-4864 immediately for further evaluation.