• 26 SEP 19
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    How Root Planing and Scaling Improves Oral Health

    Woman receiving root planing and scaling treatment at the dental office.

    Our gums and teeth are constantly at risk for plaque buildup and gum disease. Even if we brush and floss thoroughly, some patients will need a deep cleaning with the help of root planing and scaling. While planing helps remove tartar near the root of the tooth, scaling involves scraping plaque off of the tooth to prevent disease-causing bacteria from building up. This process helps prevent gum disease from occurring and keeps gums and teeth healthy. Find out what to expect during a root planing and scaling procedure and how it can improve your oral health with this guide!

    Implications of Gum Disease

    Taking care of our oral health should be one of our top priorities, but it often gets brushed under the rug after other daily activities. As we forget to brush and floss our teeth well, we leave our mouths vulnerable to the effects of decay and gum disease. Gum disease is one of the most serious oral health problems that thousands of people suffer from each year, but it is completely preventable if you have a good oral hygiene regimen. Plaque is always forming on our teeth, and it is the biggest contributor to gum disease than anything else. The bacteria found in plaque is an irritant, and it will cause your gums to become inflamed when not cleaned well. In severe cases, the gums will actually pull away from the teeth and develop pockets where the plaque continues to grow. This is how gum disease forms and you will need the help of a dentist to remove the plaque that is stuck in these pockets before bone and tooth loss occurs. The procedure to treat gum disease and remove this type of plaque is called root planing and scaling, and it’s only performed in serious cases of gum disease. However, once completed, your oral health can be restored back to its former glory and you can avoid the pain and embarrassment of losing teeth.

    What Root Planing and Scaling Looks Like

    Digital model of a root scaling and planing treatment.

    Although it’s one of the least performed and uncommon types of dental procedures, root planing and scaling has saved thousands of patients’ teeth and oral health over the years. While similar, both of these treatments are separate procedures and perform different functions. For starters, root planing deals with smoothing the tooth root so that rough areas that bacteria stick to can’t form, thus helping the gum tissue reattach itself to the tooth. This process makes the gingival pockets smaller and more difficult for plaque and bacteria to get into. Once the calculus in this area is removed, it helps the tissue grow back incredibly fast. Root scaling, on the other hand, scrapes plaque and tartar from the teeth themselves and below the gumline. Root scaling is done before planing so that all the buildup can be removed before the tooth root is smoothed over. Both root planing and scaling are performed together for best results and to completely eliminate gum disease. Local anesthesia is typically applied to the area of concern as this process can be invasive and sometimes painful. Depending on the severity of plaque accumulation, though, it may take more than one visit to perform a root planing and scaling procedure.

    Tips For Good Mouth Health

    The best form of treatment is prevention, and you should do all in your power to keep gum disease from forming by adhering to a strict oral hygiene regimen. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, along with meeting with your dentist for a biannual checkup and cleaning. For best results, use an antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash to effectively kill bacteria, which is a major contributor to gum disease. After your root planing and scaling procedure, your gums may be swollen and sore for a few days. Some of your teeth may feel sensitive and you might have some bleeding. To prevent infection, you could use a mouth rinse or ask for a prescription from your dentist to keep your newly-cleaned gingival pockets in good health. You’ll have a follow-up appointment with your dentist a few weeks after your procedure so that he/she can measure the depth of your gingival pockets and ensure that your gums are healing. If your pockets aren’t healing, you may need another root planing and scaling treatment. If you can, avoid using tobacco and eat a balanced, healthy diet to keep your mouth, teeth and gums in great shape for years to come.

    Eliminate Gum Disease With Our Help!

    If you are suffering from gum disease, Dr. Evanson and her staff can help! Dr. Evanson is experienced with performing root planing and scaling treatments to help her patients eliminate their gum disease and have a happy, healthy mouth. Call our office today at (720) 409-0008 to schedule a root planing and scaling consultation and get your oral health back on track!

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