Posted on July 7, 2015 by Bearable

Has your dentist recommended that you receive treatment called “scaling and root planning”? Scaling and root planning is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. Once the gums are irritated, they pull away from your teeth and form gaps called “pockets”. Plaque becomes trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. Gone untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.

If gum disease is diagnosed early and hasn’t damaged the structures supporting your teeth, a thorough professional cleaning may be sufficient to halt the advance of gum disease. If the pockets are too deep, scaling and root planing may be necessary.

Scaling and root planing is a 2-step process. Your hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. The hygienist then begins root planing which smoothes out your teeth roots to help you gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete. And, the hygienist may use anesthetic to make the process more pleasant.

Good dental care at home is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush. Clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid using tobacco and visit your dentist regularly.

Your Bearable Dentistry dentist and hygienist can help you care for your teeth so that you can have a smile to last your lifetime!

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