Scaling and Root Planing
Poor oral hygiene can allow plaque to build up on your teeth, which can then cause gum disease. Technically, plaque is always building on your teeth, but if it isn't cleaned well, the plaque will cause gum inflammation and infection. When this occurs, your gums will form spaces known as pockets. Gum disease could then potentially lead to bone and tooth loss, if left untreated.
If, however, you acknowledge the gum disease early on, and structures below the gum line haven’t been damaged yet, a professional cleaning should do the trick. Yet, if the pockets between your teeth and gums are too deep, you may need to consider scaling and root planing.
While poor oral hygiene habits or a family history of dental problems can cause gum disease, the primary cause is plaque--the bacteria that is always forming on your teeth. It's an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth and can cause tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is typically painless, so you may not even know if you have it.
Symptoms and Warning Signs:
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Loose teeth that are shifting or separating
- Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Change in the fit of partial dentures
Risk Factors for Developing Gum Disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Family history of dental disease
- Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
- Medications including: steroids, types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
It’s still possible to have gum disease without the symptoms or warning signs. Based on how far the condition has progressed will determine the treatment method used to treat the disease. On your part, it’s essential to implement proper dental habits at home to prevent gum disease from progressing or recurring.
You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. It’s simple: brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, maintain a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits. At Couch and Hammond Dentistry, we can help you have a lifetime of healthy smiles.
What is the Procedure?
So, what is scaling and root planing? It’s a procedure done to remove and scrape off plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gum line, followed by smoothing or planing the surfaces of the roots of your teeth to help your gums reattach to the teeth. This process may require multiple visits and possibly a local anesthetic to complete. But in comparison to other traditional deep cleaning methods, this procedure is less abrasive and can result in less bleeding, discomfort, and swelling.
According to a July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, scaling and root planing benefits patients who suffer chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has increased past gingivitis). Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 years old in the United States.
What to do Next?
If you discover any of the above symptoms, it’s likely you could have gum disease. It can be treated and reversed in its early stages, so it’s best to acknowledge it sooner than later. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and your gums may be red, swollen, and bleed easily at this stage. By immediately acknowledging the gingivitis, we can eliminate the disease by a professional cleaning at our office, followed by better brushing and flossing habits.
The link between systemic diseases and gum (periodontal) diseases continues to increase based on research. Severe gum disease may correlate with several other health conditions like heart disease and stroke, according to recent studies.
Whether you have the symptoms or not, we encourage frequent dental checkups and dental cleanings.
With locations in Cameron Park and Folsom, we make it easy for those living in Rocklin, Folsom, Sacramento, and Granite Bay to stop by and see us!
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