Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is crucial for keeping your mouth healthy. It is important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition to your daily care routine, you should also have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. Ignoring your oral hygiene can quickly lead to serious issues, including gum disease. While the earliest stage of gum disease is easily reversed with diligent at home care, this stage is often missed. Later stages of gum disease need professional care. At PDX Center for Dentistry, we can stop the progression of gum disease, and give your mouth a chance to heal with scaling and root planing.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a serious and progressive disease. It starts with a buildup of plaque and oral bacteria. They both irritate the gum tissue, which causes the tissue to become inflamed. This early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is the easiest to treat, but also the easiest to miss. Without treatment, the swollen gums begin to pull away from the teeth, causing the formation of pockets. Bacteria and other debris collect in these pockets, and cannot be removed at home, even with an improved oral hygiene routine. The bacteria continue attacking your gums, and also begin to attack periodontal ligaments and the jawbone. Over time, the gums begin to recede, exposing the roots of your teeth. The teeth become loose, and they are even at risk of falling out.
Can I Benefit from Scaling and Root Planing?
In the event of gum disease, a thorough oral evaluation is conducted. We look closely at your mouth to determine the extent of your condition. We assess the amount of buildup on the surfaces of your teeth and measure the depth of your periodontal pockets. X-rays are also taken of your mouth so that we can see exactly what is happening below the gumline. We can determine the loss of attachment of the periodontal ligaments to the teeth as well as if there is any bone loss occurring in your jaw. This comprehensive exam will allow us to determine if you can benefit from scaling and root planing, or if you are in need of a different treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Scaling and root planing is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth that is specifically designed to remove all buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, as well as along the roots of your teeth. Scaling is the thorough scraping of the surfaces of your teeth above the gumline, including around the gumline and just below it. Using a specialized scaling tool, we can scrape away plaque, tartar, bacteria, and other debris. Removing this buildup around the gumline helps to alleviate the irritation of the sensitive tissue. Root planing involves the use of small, specialized tools to remove plaque, bacteria, and other toxins from along the roots of your teeth, smoothing their surfaces. This prevents new bacteria from adhering to their surfaces. Once the teeth have been cleaned, and antibacterial wash is delivered below the gumline to kill any bacteria that might still be present.
The Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
Benefits of scaling and root planing include:
• Treatment is minimally invasive, and only requires a local anesthetic.
• The removal of buildup from your teeth alleviates the irritation of your gum tissue.
• Bacterial growth is halted.
• Your gums are given the opportunity to begin healing and reattaching to the teeth.
Treating gum disease right away is important for preventing more serious consequences from occurring. Scaling and root planing can stop the progression of gum disease in its tracks and give your gums the opportunity they need to begin to heal. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call PDX Center for Dentistry today at (503) 546-9079.