When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

Team Oral Surgery

Scaling and root planing are non-surgical periodontal procedures that help to treat gum disease. These common procedures become necessary in the early stages of gum disease when patients develop deep pockets between their teeth and gums.

Scaling and root planing remove plaque and tartar buildup from the entire tooth, including below the gum line, and smooth the root surface to allow the healthy gum to reattach.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease results from excessive plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. The buildup forms along the gum line, making it hard to keep your teeth clean. The buildup eventually makes your gums irritated and inflamed, leading to gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible in most people if they improve their home care routines and attend all appointments for professional cleanings.

Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. Periodontitis happens when the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, causing deep pockets between the gum and tooth where bacteria can grow. The gums become infected and damaged by the toxins shed by the bacteria.

Signs That You May Have Early Periodontal Disease

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Swollen gums
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth or bad breath
  • Gum recession

Scaling and Root Planing Procedures

Scaling and root planing can help control the progress of periodontal disease. To scale the teeth, the dentist or hygienist uses special tools called scalers to access the plaque and tartar collecting below the gum line. Clearing deposits out of the pockets helps the gum regain health and control the infection.

Root planing helps to shrink periodontal pockets. The dentist or hygienist uses a tool to smooth the outer surface of the root, creating a smooth surface for the newly healthy gums to reattach. 

Both scaling and root planing are routine in-office procedures. Some people find them uncomfortable, but we can give you a local anesthetic if you feel any discomfort.

The Importance of Controlling Periodontal Disease

Healthy gums require careful attention. While the early stages of periodontal disease may not be noticeable, the disease can soon progress to the point where it causes permanent damage.

Periodontal disease is a major cause of adult tooth loss. When left unchecked, the infection damages the bone around the roots, so the teeth loosen and eventually fall out.

In addition to the effects on your teeth, researchers associate periodontal disease with many systemic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and preterm birth.

Call Jacobs and Thatcher Dentistry

If you have noticed any symptoms of early periodontal disease or if your dentist has informed you that you are developing it, your teeth and gums may need special attention. Call Jacobs and Thatcher Dentistry at 813-634-1932 for a consultation and periodontal maintenance appointment today.