Have you recently heard that you might need scaling and root planing? That sounds a bit cumbersome in terms of a dental procedure. However, it really is a routine procedure that many people have on a daily basis. Usually, when you have scaling and root planing done, you only need it done once. In certain circumstances, you may need it done again down the line if you do not properly care for your mouth. Here are a few things to know about scaling and root planing.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing
Consider scaling and root planing to be a deep cleaning of your mouth. During a traditional dental visit, we would clean your teeth. This involves us going from the part of your tooth where you chew down to your gum line. This also involves us cleaning between each of your teeth to give your mouth an overall clean feeling. However, when we do scaling and root planing, we go deeper. The goal is to get all of the tartar and debris out of your mouth, once and for all.
For scaling and root planing, we clean below the gum line. We slide very thin tools between the root of your tooth and your gums. These tools break up the bacteria that live in this space, and we clean up any tartar buildup that you may have on the roots of your teeth. The tools we use are called scalers, which is where the name comes from. This is a slow process because we go into that space on each of your teeth. However, when the entire procedure is over, your mouth is more deeply clean than even we would get during a traditional cleaning visit.
Why You May Need Scaling and Root Planing
Did you know that more than half of adults in the United States have gum disease and do not even realize it? It’s true! This disease can do a number on your oral health, plus the overall health of the rest of your body. To cure gum disease, you have to get all of the bacteria out of your mouth, especially the bacteria that are doing the damage to your gums. That is where scaling and root planing come in.
When you develop gum disease, the gums form gaps that pull back from your teeth. That means the gums are not held as tightly to your teeth, and that there are more areas of your mouth that can harbor bacteria. The bacteria like to eat away at your teeth, causing cavities and tooth decay. When we go into the gaps between your gums and your teeth, we can get that bacteria out of there. Plus, we can help reattach the gum tissue more firmly to the teeth, effectively closing those gaps. Once those gaps are closed, we can help keep your gum disease under control, and many times, eradicate it from your mouth completely.
Don’t be afraid if you hear us say that you need to have scaling and root planing done. It is done with your mouth numbed up, and there is little to no discomfort reported from most of our patients following the procedure. It greatly helps improve the health of your mouth, specifically your gums. Just make sure you follow our guidelines on caring for your mouth following having it done. You only want to have it done once in your life, if you can. Just make sure you keep up with your oral hygiene to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.