Gum disease is an extremely common condition that affects nearly half of all adults in the United States. During the early stages – also known as gingivitis – the symptoms of gum disease are mild, and it may be possible to reverse them with improved oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings. But when gum disease is not treated in time, it can eventually turn into periodontitis, which requires more complex care. Our in-house periodontist can prevent your gum disease from growing any worse with scaling and root planing, which are collectively known as a deep cleaning. Call us if you notice any bleeding or swelling that could be signs of a gum infection.
To confirm that scaling and root planing are required, our periodontist will use X-rays and other forms of digital imaging to determine whether scaling and root planing are required. If gum disease has already reached the periodontitis stage, scaling and root planing may be necessary. Common symptoms that could potentially indicate a need for scaling and root planing include:
The deep cleaning process begins with scaling, which involves the removal of plaque and tartar that has accumulated around the teeth and in the pockets of the gums. Once harmful bacteria have been removed, root planing can be performed. This involves smoothing out the roots of the teeth, which creates a surface that bacteria cannot adhere to as easily. Root planing also has the benefit of helping the gum tissue heal properly so that it can be reattached to the teeth.
Scaling and root planing can be completed in as little as one or two appointments, but more severe cases of gum disease may require multiple treatments. The mouth may be numbed with local anesthesia, and sedation can be administered to patients who are nervous or unable to sit still for long periods of time.