For patients who have been identified as having periodontal disease, Dr. Lanie may suggest treatment with a procedure known as scaling and root planing
Do I need scaling and planing?
Nearly have of the US population suffers from periodontal disease
to some extent. It can develop due to inadequate oral hygiene habits, because of poor diet, smoking or simply because you have a genetic predisposition for gum disease. It starts off as gingivitis, a bacterial infection just below your gemlike. As the infection continues, your gums may experience swelling, bleeding and will start to pull away from your teeth. Receding gums can cause your teeth to appear longer, and causes small pockets to form around your teeth where food and bacteria can be trapped, exacerbating the infection.
There is no cure for gum disease once it passes the gingivitis stage, but treatment and continued vigilance with daily cleaning can help prevent it from escalating into further loss of tissue, bone or teeth. Scaling and root planing is an early treatment Dr. Lanie may suggest.
What does the scaling and root planing procedure involve?
You may have heard this procedure also called a “deep cleaning.” During your regular oral hygiene visits, your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, and polish them in order to make it harder for bacteria to build up on them again. Scaling and root planing is similar, but the cleaning goes below the gumline, clearing plaque away from the roots of your teeth. A numbing treatment will typically be used to prevent you from feeling discomfort.
The bacteria that is the cause of the gum infection will be meticulously cleared away, after which the surfaces of your tooth roots will be smoothed down. This will help encourage the gum tissue to reattach and heal the gum pockets which have formed as a result of periodontal disease. You may be asked to use a special mouth rinse for a time as your gum pockets heal. Follow-up periodontal maintenance appointments are also recommended so that we can check up on your progress and ensure that your gums stay clear of infection.
There are serious consequences for untreated gum disease, so it should be treated as soon as possible. Look for the warning signs of gum disease, which include swollen, red gums or bleeding when you brush and floss. Call our office
or let us know at your next appointment if you are concerned about gum disease.