If you suffer from gum disease, it’s important to seek treatment immediately because untreated gum disease can lead to major oral health issues, including tooth decay and tooth loss. Root planing and scaling is highly effective at treating gum disease and restoring oral health. If you have already suffered dental damage due to gum disease, restorative dentistry treatments can repair the damage and improve the health of your smile. Find out more about root planing and scaling in this overview from Atlanta dentists Neal Shah and Donald Ross.
What Is Root Planing and Scaling Treatment?
Root planing and scaling is a treatment used to close the pockets, which form between the gums and teeth as a result of gum disease. Pockets are dangerous to oral health because they allow plaque, tartar, and bacteria to collect and build up along the gum line, and in severe cases, down to the tooth roots. Root planing and scaling is effective at closing pockets caused by gum disease to restore oral health.
Root planing and scaling treatment is essentially a deep cleaning process used to remove plaque and tartar build-up, the cause of pocket formation, at and below the gum line, even down to the tooth roots if necessary.
What Is The Treatment Process for Root Planing and Scaling?
During root planing and scaling treatment, the gums are numbed with a local anesthetic to keep the patient comfortable. Once the gums are sufficiently numbed, a dental scraping or ultrasonic tool is used to remove any plaque and tartar adhering to the teeth. Special attention is paid to the gum line and cleaning may extend down to the roots if necessary. Treatment length will vary depending on the extent of gum disease and tartar build-up.
Root Planing and Scaling Recovery and Aftercare
After root planing and scaling treatment, it is common for the gums to feel tender and sore. Any soreness or tenderness should wear off within a few days of treatment. Ibuprofen is generally suitable for pain relief after treatment, but aspirin-based pain medications should be avoided as these can increase the risk of bleeding. Gargling with warm salt water can also help soothe the gums after treatment and promote healing. You should also avoid hard, crunchy foods while the gums recover to avoid irritation.
The success of root planing and scaling treatment largely depends on following proper aftercare practices. If the teeth and gums are not properly cared for after root planing and scaling treatment, gum disease can come back. Following these aftercare tips can keep your teeth and gums healthy after root planing and scaling.
- Brush at least twice a day: Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day for a full two minutes each time to reduce plaque build-up.
- Floss at least once a day: Flossing is one of the best ways to combat gum disease because it can remove plaque between the teeth and along the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. Floss at least once a day.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are vital to catching problems early and preventing plaque and tartar buildup.
Schedule a Consultation
Don’t let gum disease go untreated. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Shah or Ross to discuss which treatments are right for you.
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