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When it comes to oral health, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is crucial. Gum disease is a common problem that affects many people, and if left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. At URBN Dental, we offer dental scaling and root planing, a non-surgical treatment that can help treat gum disease and prevent it from getting worse.
Understanding Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. It’s caused by bacteria-filled plaque that builds up on your teeth and gum line. If not removed, this plaque can harden and turn into tartar, which is difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing. As the bacteria continue to grow, it can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and eventually, tooth loss.
Gum disease can develop in anyone, but certain factors can increase your risk, such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, a family history of gum disease, certain medications, and chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Early stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, can often be reversed with proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings. However, if left untreated, it can progress to a more advanced stage known as chronic periodontitis, which requires more extensive treatment.
What is Dental Scaling and Root Planing?
Dental scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that involves cleaning the teeth above and below the gum line. This treatment is also known as a “deep cleaning” because it goes beyond a standard dental cleaning. During the teeth scaling process, a dental professional will use hand-held instruments or ultrasonic scaling instruments to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gum line. An ultrasonic device uses a vibrating metal tip and a water spray to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Root planing involves cleaning the tooth roots and smoothing out any rough spots. This helps the gums reattach to the teeth and prevent further damage from occurring. If necessary, a local anesthetic may be used to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical treatment that can help treat gum disease and prevent it from progressing. The procedure removes bacteria-filled plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gum line, reducing the risk of infection and preventing further damage to the gums and teeth. The treatment can also help prevent tooth decay and tooth loss.
The American Dental Association recommends regular dental cleanings and exams to maintain good oral health. However, if you have gum disease, you may require more frequent cleanings or scaling and root planing to keep your gums healthy. At URBN Dental, we can identify areas of concern and recommend the appropriate treatment to keep your mouth healthy.
When is Scaling and Root Planing Needed?
Scaling and root planing is recommended when gum disease is present. In the early stages, regular teeth cleanings and improved oral hygiene may be enough to reverse the condition. However, if the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, scaling and root planing may be necessary. Some signs that you may need scaling and root planing include:
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Deep gum pockets
If left untreated, gum disease can progress to a point where pocket reduction surgery or flap surgery is needed to remove the bacteria and tartar buildup from below the gum line. These procedures are more invasive and require a longer recovery time.
What to Expect During Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is typically performed in more than one appointment, depending on the severity of the gum disease. During your initial visit, the dental professional will perform a thorough teeth cleaning prior to scaling and root planing. This will help remove any loose plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, making the scaling process easier.
During the scaling and root planing procedure, the dental hygienist or dentist will use either hand-held instruments or ultrasonic instruments to remove the plaque and tartar buildup. Ultrasonic instruments use high-frequency vibrations to break apart the plaque and tartar, making it easier to remove.
Once the plaque and tartar have been removed, the dental professional will use root planing instruments to smooth out any rough spots on the tooth roots. This will help the gums reattach to the teeth and prevent further damage.
After the procedure, your gums may be sore and tender for a few days. You may also experience some bleeding and swelling, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and a mouth rinse recommended by your dental professional.
Maintaining Healthy Gums
After scaling and root planing, it’s important to maintain healthy gums through proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits. This includes daily brushing and flossing, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding tobacco products.
Regular dental cleanings and exams can also help keep your gums healthy by removing any plaque and tartar buildup that may have accumulated since your last visit. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, your dental professional may recommend more frequent cleanings or other treatments to help keep your gums healthy.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Overall Health
Gum disease has been linked to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. According to research, people with severe periodontal disease had a 14% increased risk of developing heart disease compared to those with healthy gums. Researchers believe that the inflammation caused by gum disease may play a role in the development of these other health problems. By treating gum disease, you may be able to lower your risk of developing these conditions and improve your overall health.
Visit URBN Dental Today
At URBN Dental, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve and maintain healthy gums. We offer dental scaling and root planing, as well as other treatments for gum disease, such as pocket reduction surgery and flap surgery.
If you’re experiencing any signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, bad breath, or loose teeth, don’t wait to seek treatment. Schedule a dental visit today and let us help you get your gums healthy again. With locations in Uptown Houston, Midtown Houston, and Montrose, we make it easy to get the care you need.