January 6, 2018
Too many people take their gums for granted. Maintaining the health of the soft pink tissue that supports your teeth can help to keep your entire body in good shape. Unfortunately, gum disease is all too common; in fact, according to one estimate, almost half of all adults in the United States have some form of this condition. Without help from a skilled periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum treatment), they are at risk for several oral and systemic health problems. If your gums are suffering, one procedure that might get them back in good shape is scaling and root planing. Let’s talk about this treatment.
When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?
Your gums should fit snugly around your teeth, but periodontal disease causes them to become inflamed and pull away from your pearly whites. The spaces between your teeth and gums that the disease causes are called “pockets.” It’s easy for bacteria to get trapped in these pockets and lead to plaque and tarter that wreak havoc on your oral health. When these pockets form, you could very well need scaling and root planing.
But how do you know if you have gum disease that has advanced to the point where a periodontist has to step in? The best way to find out for sure is to visit a dentist or gum specialist who can make an official diagnosis of your situation. It’s especially important to seek professional treatment if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Basically, scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning of your mouth. The procedure has two steps:
- Your Concord, MA periodontist will remove all the tartar from your teeth, both above and below the gum line.
- Root planing. Your periodontist will smooth out the roots of your teeth. This helps the gums stick to your teeth better and makes it more difficult for disease-causing bacteria to cling to them.
Depending on how much work your periodontist has to do, scaling and root planing might take more than one appointment. Don’t worry about pain during the procedure; a local anesthetic will make sure you don’t feel anything. Your gums might be a bit tender and swollen for a few days after your treatment, so it’s important to follow your periodontist’s instructions for aftercare.
Is Scaling and Root Planing a Permanent Solution?
Scaling and root planing can help get your oral health back on track. However, to prevent your gum disease from causing big trouble again in the future, you’ll have to be diligent about oral hygiene. It’s also important that you regularly visit your dental care professional so they can help you keep your mouth clean and diagnose any signs of gum problems before they become major.
Gum disease is a serious condition, but scaling and root planing might be able to stop it in its tracks.
About Your Periodontist
Dr. Stephen Grossman is a dentist who specializes in periodontal care. He is well-qualified to perform scaling and root planing as well as other procedures that aim to preserve and restore gum health. If you have concerns about gum disease, please contact one of our offices.
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