Phone (513) 251-5500

Posts Tagged ‘scaling and root planing’

Gum Disease? Here’s What to Know About Scaling & Root Planing

Friday, May 27th, 2016

At any given time, we’re all developing some degree of plaque in our mouths. But when we brush, floss, and get regular dentist cleanings, we help to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.

So what is plaque?

Plaque is a biofilm, mostly made of bacteria, that adheres to the surface of our teeth. Plaque has an organized structure and its components – glycoproteins and polysaccharides – make it impossible to remove with water or by just using mouthwash.

In as little as a day, the biofilm that is in our mouth can transform from the soft and removable kind of plaque into a hard state – also called tartar – and that is much harder to remove.

The bacteria in dental plaque is what can lead to periodontal disease. (“Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to our teeth.)

root planingOur bodies strive to get rid of the bacteria we have in our mouth, and therefore the cells of your immune system have an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction is how and why our gums then become swollen and can bleed. The more that nothing is done to fight off this bacteria, the more this can become a problem, and the more the bacteria will thrive.

And that’s where scaling & root planing come in…

Scalers are a tool that your dentist uses during – you guessed it – scaling and root planing. These are special tools that are used professionally in order to fight this bacteria build-up. The scaler can come in a couple of different sizes, but generally, it is a tool that is narrower at the tip. No matter what the tool looks like, they are simply specialized tools used to remove tartar and plaque.

scaling removes plaque

And what exactly does the scaling and root planing treatment involve?

The treatment works towards fighting periodontal disease – both on the teeth and the roots of your teeth. First, your teeth and gums are numbed so that all the plaque and tartar can be removed without any discomfort. Next, the professional tools are used to remove calculus. That may be by ultrasonic, sonic scaler, or power scaler.

After the bacteria is removed beneath the gum line, then teeth are smoothed and cleaned so that the gum tissue not only properly heals, but so it “reattaches” to your teeth. Part of the reason teeth can be smoothed is to get rid of surfaces and areas where bacteria are trapped or held – the same places where that bacteria would otherwise be much more likely to thrive. That’s also part of the treatment designed to get your gums back to their healthiest state.

Certain patients may have additional steps as part of their scaling and root planing treatment, depending on their vulnerability to gum disease and their medical history.

For example, there is ARESTIN®, which allows antibiotics to be slowly released over time in your mouth. Your dentist simply adds ARESTIN® to the your most vulnerable areas in the mouth – the pocket between your gum and tooth. This means that not only have you killed a great deal of bacteria during scaling and root planing, but you are now killing bacteria left behind after your procedure.

arestin hagen dental

Who benefits from scaling and root planing?

Your dentist will be able to recommend and tell you if you have periodontal disease, including any appropriate treatments – such as scaling and root planing – that can help you get back your healthy smile. Your dentist will not only take into account the current state of your teeth, but also your entire health history. Typically, if your dentist determines that you have gum disease that has progressed to a certain stage where bone loss is more likely to occur, he or she may recommend this kind of treatment.

Getting Your Teeth & Gums Feeling – and Looking – Healthy Again

Does your infection go away forever thanks to this treatment? The answer is that it is important to know that just because you have scaling and root planing, doesn’t meant you should go back to and bad oral health habits. Rather, the treatment is going to be maximized only if brushing, flossing and regular dentist visits (among other behaviors you want to avoid such as smoking) are kept up after your treatment. With that said, scaling and root planing does greatly support those looking to regain healthy-looking, firm gums.

In the end, the entire procedure can be done in an environment in which you are comfortable, and it can typically be done in a single visit. For some people, after the treatment, the mouth may be tender. In certain scenarios, the treatment can be broken into several visits when requested by a patient.

Want to learn more about scaling and root planing or ARESTIN®? Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation, scaling and root planing, or your regular visit, we’d love to see you. Read more about Dr. Hagen and the team, including our state-of-the-art dental methods and technologies, and give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

keep up with oral habits hagen dental

Sources/References