Your gum tissues play a crucial role in maintaining your oral health. This is because periodontal disease, which is primarily caused by bacterial plaque and tartar, is the leading reason for tooth loss in adults. The bacteria present in plaque and tartar produce acids that damage the enamel of your teeth and trigger an infection in your gum tissues. This infection can lead to deterioration of the underlying bone and supportive tissues. Over time, this deterioration will result in loose teeth that eventually fall out. At 24th Street Dental Biltmore, we offer a procedure called scaling and root planing to effectively combat periodontal disease and prevent tooth loss.
It’s likely that most individuals are familiar with periodontal disease commonly referred to as gum disease. This condition occurs when the bacteria present in the thin layer of plaque that forms on your teeth and surrounding tissues cause an infection in the gums.
Failure to remove plaque can result in the hardening of tartar deposits, which are significantly more challenging to eliminate. In fact, most tartar deposits can only be effectively removed through professional dental cleanings.
When plaque and tartar build up in your mouth, your immune system releases toxins to get rid of the bacteria. However, these toxins also attack your gum tissues, resulting in an infection. This infection gives rise to two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
When Do You Need a Scaling and Root Planing?
Dr. Donnelly, at 24th Street Dental Biltmore, will examine your gums for any signs of periodontal disease during your checkup. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is identified by inflamed and bleeding gums that may appear red and swollen. Fortunately, gingivitis is highly manageable and reversible. By enhancing your oral health routine and scheduling regular cleanings, gingivitis can often be eliminated.
Periodontitis is a highly serious condition that cannot be reversed. It not only causes swollen and red gums but also leads to irreversible damage to the bone and connective tissues underneath. As a result, your gums will recede, creating deep pockets where plaque and food particles can accumulate, causing more harm.
If we detect signs of periodontitis, a scaling and root planing procedure may be suggested. Indications of periodontitis include halitosis, significant accumulation of tartar, and pockets with depths of 4mm or greater that are indicative of poor gum health.
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
During a scaling and root planing procedure, we will numb the area with local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort. We will then use an ultrasonic scaler, which uses water and vibrations to create small bubbles on the surface of your teeth. These bubbles effectively remove plaque and tartar buildup, as well as kill the bacteria that can cause periodontal disease.
After this step, we will smooth out any rough areas on the roots to prevent further plaque and tartar from accumulating. This will also help the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth properly, promoting a healthy fit.
After a Scaling and Root Planing
A scaling and root planing procedure may require multiple appointments to complete. After the procedure, you may experience some minor discomfort or soreness. We will schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the healing of your gums and the condition of your pockets. In most cases, the procedure is successful, and your red and swollen gum tissue will become firm and pink again.
Your periodontal pockets will also return to a healthy depth. If everything goes well, you may not require any further treatment. However, if your periodontal disease persists, you may need additional procedures such as a gum graft or a bone graft to restore deteriorated bone. Fortunately, a scaling and root planing procedure typically reduces the need for extensive surgery to restore your gums.
Preventing Periodontal disease
The great thing is, preventing periodontal disease is actually quite simple. By maintaining a rigorous oral health care routine, you can effectively avoid the harmful consequences of periodontal disease. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day, as this is the most effective way to eliminate plaque from your teeth.
Regularly scheduled checkups and professional cleanings are also crucial for maintaining periodontal health. If you have previously experienced periodontal disease, we may suggest using an antibacterial mouthwash for added protection.
To find out more about your periodontal health and our other services at 24th Street Dental Biltmore, simply click here or give us a call at (602) 468-1135. Our team will be delighted to arrange an appointment with the leading dentist in Phoenix.