Root Planing and Scaling
This extensive cleaning treatment is provided by the hygienist for patients who have tartar, calculus, and bacteria buried below the gumline on the tooth. Your regular toothbrushing and flossing removes the tartar that is above the gumline of your tooth. Root planing and scaling helps to prevent and, in some cases, to treat gum disease. This technique is most often used when the gum pockets of your tooth have a measurement that is greater than 3mm (average pocket depth is less than 3mm). When tartar and calculus attach to your tooth below the gumline, they pull the gum tissue away from the tooth, creating the deep pocket. The tartar and calculus must be removed so that the gum can heal and close the pocket to less than 3mm. If not treated, the tartar and bacteria will begin to cause gum disease and will deteriorate your bone, tissue, and teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Planing and Scaling
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LEAVE THIS ONE EMPTY
My gums bleed. Why is this?
Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions. However, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t diagnose and treat periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough ‘scrubbing’ instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.
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