Scaling and Root Planing
During your routine cleaning, our dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth above and below the gum tissue. We also polish your teeth to remove stains and smooth the surface. Routine cleanings are done to prevent periodontal (gum) disease; however, these cleanings are not an effective treatment if you already have the disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, we here at Caldera Dental Group may recommend a special type of cleaning known as scaling and root planing.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection that targets the structures around your teeth, namely your gum tissues, supportive ligaments, and the alveolar bone. The main culprit of periodontal disease is the bacteria in plaque and tartar. To fight off the bacteria, your immune system releases toxins that inflame and damage these structures. The disease is categorized into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. It is typically characterized by swollen, red, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis is easy to prevent, treat, and reverse with daily brushing and flossing. When done correctly, a daily oral hygiene regimen can remove most of the plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
If the disease is allowed to progress to periodontitis, you may notice pockets begin to form between the teeth and gums. These pockets encourage the rapid growth of bacteria and plaque buildup. Eventually, the infection may destroy the structures that support your teeth, resulting in tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
If you are showing signs of periodontitis, we recommend scaling and root planing procedure. During the procedure, Dr. Primley or our dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to clean your teeth. An ultrasonic scaler produces microscopic bubbles that collapse of the surface of your teeth to break up plaque and tartar deposits. During the root planing, we will smooth any rough surfaces of your roots to discourage bacteria and plaque from reestablishing below the gums. This also allows your gums to properly heal and reattach to the tooth more firmly. The procedure may take one or more appointments to complete.
If the procedure is successful, your gums will return to a pink, healthy state. If not, we may recommend another round of treatment or surgical intervention. Patients that need further treatment usually have genetic or systemic factors that contribute to their periodontitis.
Preventive Oral Care
Of course, the best form of treatment is preventative. Periodontal disease can sneak up on you without much warning, as many of the initial symptoms are painless. We urge you to schedule regular examinations and professional cleanings so we can monitor your oral health. A good home care routine is also crucial in preventing periodontal disease. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Flossing once a day is also important. For extra protection, you may want to consider an antimicrobial mouthwash. Certain lifestyle choices can also contribute to periodontal disease. Poor diet and tobacco use have been linked to the disease.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you think you may have periodontal disease, call (541) 604-2900, and schedule your appointment today!