Periodontal disease is an infection in your gum tissues. It is caused by bacteria colonies (plaque) that are not thoroughly removed through your home care routine. When plaque is not removed, it hardens on the tooth, and is called calculus (tartar). When calculus sits along and under your gum line, it causes your gum tissues to become inflamed. This can lead to bleeding gums and discomfort, bone loss, and a bad taste or odor in the mouth. Periodontal disease can range from early stages to advanced stages. In the most severe cases, tooth loss is possible.
By catching periodontal disease in its earliest stages at Smile32 Family Dentistry, we can prevent tooth loss. Scaling and root planing is the most common procedure completed, to help return your gum tissues to a healthier condition. Scaling and root planing is a specialized deep cleaning tailored to your specific needs. This cleaning by your dental hygienist removes all calculus and plaque from the teeth, including the root surfaces below the gum line. By removing the bacteria irritants under the gum line, your tissues are able to reattach more firmly against the tooth.
Scaling and root planing is usually completed in two appointments by your dental hygienist. This is necessary for your comfort. When gum disease is present, this deep cleaning can be uncomfortable. For this reason, we get your tissues numb. We offer laughing gas and movies to help ease any anxiety. At the first appointment, we get half of the mouth numb, and proceed to scale all surfaces of the teeth.
At the next appointment, we will do the same for the other half if necessary. After your procedure, you may feel a little sore, as your tissues tighten against your teeth. Swishing with warm salt water every few hours or using a pain reliever may be suggested, to help with the healing process. You should continue brushing, flossing, and rinsing routine at home. Your hygienist, at Smile32 Family Dentistry, will ask you to return in 4 weeks after treatment is completed, so they can evaluate your tissue health. This allows them to see how you responded to the treatment, and can recommend further treatment, as needed.
Scaling and root planing is the most conservative way to treat your periodontal disease. By completing this procedure, we hope to accomplish many things such as: healthy gums that do not bleed, fresher breath and taste in the mouth, and increased attachment of your tissues to your teeth. At home, we need you to thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth at least twice daily. This includes brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse that your Smile32 Family Dentistry hygienist recommends. Routine maintenance visits are also very important.
Your hygienist may advise cleanings every 3-4 months, instead of every 6 months, depending on your specific needs. Periodontal disease can be an ongoing struggle, and we look forward to slowing or stopping the disease process with this treatment. We will keep you involved in the status of your condition, as it heals.