Scaling & Root Planing
If you are experiencing bleeding, puffy, sensitive gums, protect your beautiful smile and overall health by contacting Dr. Carol Jin in San Ramon, California, for an examination and recommendations regarding treatment. These symptoms almost always indicate a periodontal problem that can quickly lead to bone loss and even loss of your teeth if not treated using methods such as scaling and root planing to stop the deterioration in its tracks.
Scaling & Root Planing for Gum Disease
When plaque, a soft yellow-grayish bio-film, attaches to your tooth surface and is not removed by consistent dental hygiene, it builds up over time, particularly along the gum line. This bacterial plaque then begins to infect your gums, resulting in an inflammation called gingivitis that causes your gums to swell, creating vertical spaces between the tooth and gum. The bacteria then colonize these pockets, eventually hardening into calculus or tartar, a very hard substance which, if not removed, may lead to bone loss, tooth loss, and even heart disease. These pockets are usually the result of improper or infrequent brushing and flossing, but also may occur when a piece of food (such as popcorn) becomes lodged under the gum affecting an individual tooth. Once this has occurred, periodontal intervention, such as scaling and root planing, is the only way to call a halt to the process and prevent further destruction of your teeth and gums. In some cases, depending on the degree of deterioration, gum surgery may be recommended.
What is Scaling & Root Planing?
Also referred to as a deep dental cleaning, these non-surgical procedures may be performed together by Dr. Jin when the pockets between your teeth and gums reach 4mm of depth or greater as disclosed by a periodontal probe, since normal brushing and flossing or even routine dental cleanings cannot reach deep enough to clean out these pockets. Scaling may also be performed using hand instruments as a preventative measure on individuals with healthy gums.
Scaling is the first step in the process and is performed to remove dental plaque and bacterial film from your teeth. The next step involves scaling of the root itself using root planing. These procedures may involve the use of a wide selection of dental tools, including both ultrasonic and periodontal scalers and curettes, with the purpose of completely removing dental plaque and calculus and ridding the infected tooth of the toxin-producing bacteria that cause the inflammation. This may be followed by an oral irrigation with anti-bacterial mouthwash or by antibiotics placed in the periodontal pocket to provide further disinfection and healing.
While these procedures may sound painful, your comfort is Dr. Jin’s priority so you can rest assured that your gums will be completely anesthetized prior to the commencement of treatment. There is also little to no discomfort afterwards, so you can return to your home or work with only a few eating restrictions until the next day.
Benefits of Treatment
Scaling and root planing can prevent further bone loss and gum detachment, and remove the bacteria that cause bleeding, swelling, bad breath and even heart disease. The key to maintaining these benefits, however, is the patient’s compliance in following excellent oral care procedures at home, including but not limited to twice-daily brushing for 2-3 minutes and daily flossing. Continuing follow-up and maintenance visits with Dr. Jin every three to four months are highly recommended.
So keep that beautiful smile and contact Dr. Carol Jin in San Ramon for a dental appointment today.