Scaling and Root Planing | San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry
Periodontal disease occurs when your body mounts an immune response against toxins produced by bacteria underneath the gums. As a result, the bone that supports the teeth is destroyed. There is no cure for periodontal disease. However, with early detection, timely treatment, and consistent maintenance, we can help to stop the progression of this disease and prevent further bone loss and recession.
When plaque is not removed properly, it can harden to become tartar or calculus, which are difficult to remove with even proper home care. The bacteria causes the gum tissues to pull away from the teeth, creating periodontal pockets. When periodontal disease is left untreated, it can cause irreversible bone and tooth loss.
The goal of this deep cleaning process is to clear away plaque and tartar as well as smooth the surfaces of the teeth to encourage the gum tissues to reattach to the teeth.
What is scaling and root planing?
Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical periodontal treatment that is typically recommended when periodontal disease is diagnosed. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, affects only the gum tissues, and is completely reversible if detected and treated early. If left untreated, however, it can progress further into the gum and bone and cause potential bone and tooth loss. Many patients who have gingivitis or more advanced stages of periodontal disease often experience bleeding and sore gums when brushing, flossing, and eating.
Dental scaling and root planing is a two-part procedure that’s often used as the first line of defense against gum disease. When plaque is not removed properly, it can harden to become tartar or calculus, which are difficult to remove with even proper home care. The bacteria causes the gum tissues to pull away from the teeth, creating periodontal pockets where even more bacteria can hide. Dental scaling (also called teeth scaling) involves the removal of bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the gum pockets as well as the surface of the teeth both above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing out the root surface to help your gums reattach and sealing the pocket so bacteria cannot get in.
How do I know if I need teeth scaling and root planing?
If your periodontist detects gum disease, they will likely recommend teeth scaling and root planing, but there are some general signs you can look out for as well:
- Persistent bad breath
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Teeth sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
The best way to ensure that gum disease does not progress is to practice proper oral hygiene daily and consistently and to visit your dentist or periodontist regularly. Regular visits enable your dental practitioner to monitor you for signs and symptoms of periodontitis and to start treatment while it’s still in its early stages.
What are the benefits of teeth scaling and root planing?
Teeth scaling and root planing has a number of benefits for your oral health and the appearance of your smile. The procedure:
- Stops the progression of gum disease
- Lowers the risk of health complications
- Alleviates gum tenderness and swelling
- Helps gum tissue to fit snugly around the teeth, creating a barrier against bacteria
- Removes superficial stains and unsightly plaque
- Results in fresher breath
The sooner your periodontist can eliminate the oral infection and remove the tartar and bacteria, the sooner your healthy smile will be restored.
It is vital to maintain your oral health after the procedure. Thorough and consistent brushing and flossing will help keep the bacteria from building up and causing further damage, but you may need to return for periodontal cleanings every 3 or 4 months as well. It is also important to stop the use of tobacco.
Dental scaling and root planing at San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
If your gums are bleeding, swollen, or tender, come see us at San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry. Dr. Kennie Kwok is one of San Diego’s most well-respected and sought-after periodontists, and he has extensive experience in restoring the health and beauty of his patients’ smiles with dental scaling and root planing. To determine if scaling and root planing is the right treatment for you, please, give us a call at (619) 543-0905 today for a consultation with Dr. Kwok.