Scaling and Root Planing – Attack Gum Disease at it’s Root

Have you been told you need Deep Dental Cleanings? We offer those at DentalPros! Not only do we perform scaling and root planing (Deep Cleaning) to treat the tooth, we use our LASER to heal the gums faster and help with sensitivity and use OZONE to remove bacteria and promote healing around the teeth and gums. We are GOING GREEN with dentistry at DentalPros!

In today’s post, we’re taking a good look at a procedure that we offer here at DentalPros—scaling and root planing. You might be thinking, what in the WORLD is that? Scaling and root planing, or “Deep cleaning” can be instrumental in stopping gum disease in its tracks!

Let’s start with the basics:

Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. It’s always forming on your teeth. Even right now, as you read this. If your teeth are not cleaned properly, plaque can lead to gum disease, causing inflammation, possible bone loss, and potentially even tooth extractions.

Your first line of defense against plaque and gum disease is practicing excellent oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, eating nutritious foods low in sugar and visiting your general dentist for regular cleanings). However, if you do end up with gum disease, there are dental procedures that our team at DentalPros can perform to get your gums healthy again.

Telling a patient that they have the beginnings of gum disease is never an easy conversation. But having gum disease doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about. In fact, with the right intervention and treatment, you can give it the one-two punch it needs to knock it out for good. One way to do that is scaling and root planing.

So what is Scaling and Root Planing?

It’s a comprehensive deep cleaning of the tooth and root below the gum line. Scaling and root planing is a procedure that can help in preventing tooth loss and more invasive dental procedures later on. If gum disease is caught early enough before it has progressed to the point where tooth extraction would be necessary, we can often treat it by cleaning the deepest parts of your gums. This isn’t your regular dental cleaning— we’re talking REALLY deep— the parts that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Why don’t we just perform a regular cleaning first? This is a common question presented to us by our patients and the reason is when the dental hygienist cleans your teeth, the pocket begins to tighten up. A regular cleaning only cleans pockets to about 3mm. Anything larger would get trapped against the tooth and trap it.  For this reason, we perform the deep cleaning first! This will allow us to get reattachment of the tissue to the tooth at the base of the pocket.

After the deep cleaning, we smooth out all of the root surfaces so that the gums can reattach. This reduces any long-term problems like bleeding and inflammation. As great as this procedure is for reversing gum disease and preserving your teeth, it does have a few short-term side effects.

Your teeth may hurt.

Following the procedure your teeth may be sensitive to hot, cold and sweet food or drinks. In some cases, the pain is gone after 2 to 3 days. For others, it may take up to two weeks for the sensitivity to subside.

Your gums may bleed slightly.

Your gums will also be tender. Expect to see some light bleeding for the first 3 days when you brush.

You may experience some pain.

The pain is more of a discomfort. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area during the actual procedure. Tip: avoid chewing gum or eating anything until the anesthetic has worn off.

You will need to eat softer foods.

It’s not forever. It’s just until your mouth is 100% healed. Think soups, shakes, steamed and sautéed vegetables, as well as rice, when it comes to your meals.

Maintenance: Depending on the depth of the pockets there will always be a need for periodontal maintenance. This is what you will be on for the remainder of your tooth’s life.  By keeping these regular appointments it will allow your body to heal. Periodontal disease affects the entire body including the heart and is associated with Diabetes. Keeping your gums healthy is one of the links to overall health!

Overall, the sensitivity and discomfort involved in reversing and eliminating gum disease is worth it. After all, your teeth and gums are key indicators of your overall health. And, let’s face it, no one wants to lose their teeth! Fighting the disease early is key in preventing tooth loss.

If you think you might have gum disease, or if it’s been a while since your last dental cleaning, schedule a free consultation with our dental experts today. DentalPros is family-owned and operated with three convenient locations throughout Tucson. We’re proud to be local and are happy to help you with your family’s dental needs, all under the same roof.

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