Gum Disease? Dental Scaling and Root Planing Can Help Fix It

Gum disease can cause a host of dental issues, including tooth loss and infections. Is it too late if your gums are already pulling away from your teeth? Not necessarily. Periodontal scaling and root planing can help the gums heal and save your teeth. 

Endicott Dental can help you repair your gums before you risk losing your teeth. Our scaling and root planing services, combined with your improved oral hygiene habits, can bring your gums back to full health.

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Gum Disease Effects and Symptoms

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, results from a lack of good oral hygiene. You must brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep them healthy. It’s also important to visit your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning. 

Without proper oral hygiene habits, plaque builds up along the gumline. This sticky substance holds bacteria against the gums and teeth. The dental plaque can harden along the gum line, creating tartar. This can trap bacteria against the gums. 

Stages of Gum Disease 

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Gum tissue becomes red, irritated, and sensitive and may bleed from brushing or flossing during the early stages. 

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease. In this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth and create gum pockets where plaque and tartar can build up. Teeth loosen in this stage. 

Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. It causes tooth loss and infection, and it can lead to bone loss in the jaw. 

If left untreated, gum disease can worsen rapidly and cause serious issues not just to your oral health but to your overall health. You should contact your dentist when you see these signs of gum disease: 

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed, particularly during brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Gums separating from teeth
  • Changes in how you bite
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in how dental appliances fit

Regular professional cleaning and proper dental care by brushing and flossing daily prevent gum disease. 

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What Are Tooth Scaling and Root Planing?

A good dental cleaning can help your gums at the first stage of gum disease. We must do more if the gums have started pulling away from the teeth. At this stage, the best solution at this stage is tooth scaling and dental root planing treatment.

Tooth Scaling

What is teeth scaling in dentistry? Tooth scaling, also called periodontal or dental scaling, involves much deeper teeth cleaning. Instead of going just to the gum line, we go below the gum line to clean out the pockets that may have formed as the gums pull away from the teeth. 

We clean below the gum line because the bacteria there can continue to damage the gums. We want the gums to get a clean start, so to speak, so they have a chance to heal and reattach to the teeth. Tooth scaling is the first part of that process.

Root Planing

What is root planing in dentistry? It’s one thing to clean below the gum line. It’s another to get the gums to reattach to the teeth. They can do that naturally, but it doesn’t hurt to help it along. We do this with root planing. 

The dentist works below the gum line to scrape the surface of the tooth root and tooth enamel until both are smooth. This removes any plaque or tartar that has built up there. This also provides a smooth surface for the gums to reattach. 

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Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing Procedures

We begin with thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums on the visible surfaces. This includes scraping away any tartar at the gum line. 

Once your teeth and gums are clean at the surface, we begin tooth scaling to remove all plaque, tartar, and bacteria below your gum line. You may need a local anesthetic to numb your mouth while we work below your gum line. 

Once we have cleaned below your gum line, we use special tools to scrape the root surface until it is smooth. We may add an antibiotic in pockets with severe gum irritation. We then leave the gums to reattach themselves to your roots, which they usually do on their own. 

How Long Will Scaling and Root Planing Take?

It may take several visits to complete scaling and root planing on all of your teeth. It takes time to use local anesthesia and perform the work. You can expect the project to be completed in 2-4 visits. 

Also, your teeth and gums will be sore and sensitive for a few days. We don’t want to do all of your teeth at once, so you can still eat and brush your teeth without too much discomfort. 

You should feel a remarkable difference once the procedure is complete and your gums are healed. The irritation, redness, and bleeding should disappear as the gums repair themselves and reattach to your teeth. 

Your mouth will feel much better once it’s cleaned thoroughly. You also run much less risk of losing your teeth. 

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What Happens After Scaling and Planing?

Once you’ve healed, brushing and flossing your teeth should be much easier. The pockets should close on their own. If they don’t, you may require periodontal surgery. 

We may recommend a mouth rinse or medication to prevent infection. We will reevaluate your gum disease at your follow-up visit and determine whether you need to heal more or if surgery will be needed. 

Scaling and Planing in Broken Arrow, OK

Gum disease is a serious issue that should be addressed immediately. Endicott Dental has several options to reverse your gum disease, including deep cleaning methods such as dental root scaling and root planing. 

If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t hesitate to check on it with a dental visit. Schedule an appointment with Endicott Dental in Broken Arrow, OK, so we can evaluate how advanced your gum disease is and what you need to return to a healthy smile.

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