Scaling and Root Planing: What You Need to Know

Posted on: Friday, August 10th, 2018


You might think that your mouth is perfectly happy just because you don’t have widespread cavities or missing teeth, but the truth is more complicated. According to the CDC, half of all American adults have periodontal disease. That equals nearly 65 million people above the age of 30!

What Should You Know About Gum Disease?

Since periodontal disease develops gradually, it begins as a mild condition called gingivitis. This occurs when too much plaque accumulates along the gumline and triggers infection. Swollen, red, and bleeding gums fail to provide a seal between the teeth and gums, which allows bacteria to move into the open space and exacerbate the infection.

Gingivitis is entirely treatable and reversible, but if left untreated it advances into moderate and severe gum disease. The effects of untreated periodontal disease on your mouth and overall health can be devastating. Consequences include tooth loss, bone loss, heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Fortunately, scaling and root planing are two deep treatments that give your gums and teeth the opportunity to recover from periodontal disease. Even if your mouth seems healthy, gingivitis is a real threat. Your dentist is the only one who can identify gingivitis or more advanced forms of gum disease and provide scaling and root planing to restore your oral health.

What is Scaling?

Scaling is the first part of the essential deep cleaning needed to reverse and treat gum disease. It involves removing all plaque and tartar that sits above and below the gumline. This is the most common non-surgical way to remove the dangerous bacteria that triggers periodontitis. Scaling can be completed with manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments, or both.

What is Root Planing?

Root planing is done after scaling. It is the process of smoothing the root surfaces under the gumline to minimize inflammation and help the gum tissue heal from infection. Planing also helps remove bacterial toxins from the mouth.

What Are Scaling and Root Planing Like?

Since scaling and root planing must be done to gums that are already swollen and tender, anesthesia is usually administered to numb the tissue and eliminate pain. Depending on the extent of your gum disease, you may need multiple scaling and root planing treatments to achieve the best results.

This treatment has the ability to prevent serious oral health problems, so it’s important to make your appointment with a dental professional you trust. Dr. Beata Carlson and Dr. Amber Gilton offer premier holistic dentistry services at Natural & Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, Florida to give you the healthiest smile possible. Call (727) 888-6523 to make your appointment today.

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