Do You Need Scaling and Root Planing?

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Do You Need Scaling and Root Planing?

Have you been experiencing teeth issues? Perhaps you’ve had pain or bleeding gums and you’re wondering what to do. Or maybe you’ve noticed that your gums aren’t looking as pink and healthy as they used to.

These realizations may cause alarm, but they are actually quite common. It’s inevitable that some plaque will build up on your teeth throughout your lifetime. But in some scenarios, a routine cleaning just doesn’t do the trick. If you’re having persistent issues with your teeth or gums, a scaling and root planing may help you reset your oral health in a powerful way. 

What is scaling and root planing?

A scaling and root planing is simply a deep clean. When dentists scale your gums, they are going beyond a typical teeth cleaning and removing plaque and tartar around the gumline. A root planing is an even deeper clean in which dentists go below the gumline and restore the connection between your gums and teeth. These two procedures are done in conjunction to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of gum disease.

Preventing Periodontitis

One of the main reasons scaling and root planing is so valuable is that it helps you prevent or treat periodontal disease or gum disease. When tartar and plaque accumulate around your teeth, your gums become inflamed. As pockets of inflammation form, your gums and teeth become slightly separated. In worse case scenarios, this can damage the bone structure of your mouth and lead to tooth loss. 

Even if gum disease has already developed, a laser scaling and root planing procedure has been shown to eliminate the need for surgery in some patients. 

Signs you may need scaling and root planing:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic sensitivity
  • Chronic pain

How it Works

There are two steps to scaling and root planing. First, a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean around your gum line. This is the scaling process. Most periodontists offer an anesthetic to ensure you feel no pain during the procedure. This may be done with a manual scaler, but ultrasonic scalers and laser therapy have become more common to ensure no damage is done to the gums. Next, your dentist will go deeper, cleaning the root surfaces of your teeth and clear plaque and unwanted bacteria.

Many people get anxious at the mere thought of regular cleaning, let alone a deep cleaning. But dental procedures have come a long way in ensuring the most comfortable and painless process possible. While there may be soreness and sensitivity after the procedure, the gums will heal and re-create a firm border around your teeth – inflammation free. 

If you don’t need scaling and root planing yet, there are a few ways you can stave off gum disease now:

  • Use antibacterial mouthwash.
  • If you smoke, try to quit.
  • Brush at least twice a day.
  • Floss daily. 
  • Get regular cleanings

If you’re ready for healthier gums, clean teeth, and a brilliant smile, Barry Levin is a Jenkintown Periodontal Specialist ready to help you improve your oral health.