The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling and root planing. The goal of treatment is to remove dental plaque and calculus, which cause gingival inflammation. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment or a preventative measure. They are commonly performed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.
Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, our Periodontists may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for our Periodontists to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.
If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing removes bacteria that causes these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3 mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing.
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