If you have gum disease, your dentist might recommend the scaling and root planing procedure. While the name makes it sound painful, it is a very routine procedure that is simply a deep cleaning of the pockets in your gums. This procedure is necessary to help eliminate gum disease, preventing its spread into other areas of your mouth or the possibility of it worsening over time.
A Thorough Cleaning
You can think of scaling and root planing as a thorough cleaning of all areas of your teeth, even those areas that are beneath the gum line. The process will remove the tartar and calculus that has built up beneath your gums, causing your gums to bleed and even putting the integrity of your teeth at risk. Because plaque likes to stick to areas that are rough, the root planing component of the procedure enables your dentist to smooth the roots, preventing plaque from sticking to it.
A Fight Against Gum Disease
In general, patients that are experiencing the earliest signs of gum disease, such as puffy or bleeding gums are a good candidate for scaling and root planing. Oftentimes, this procedure is enough to clean the area, remove the bacteria and get the gums back to optimal health. In advanced cases, however, scaling and root planing is the first step in restoring optimal health to the mouth. Once the bacteria is removed, surgery is often able to be performed in order to full reconstruct the gums, making them healthy without the risk of spreading bacteria.
Taking your Time
If your gum disease is advanced, the scaling and root planing will likely be performed in stages; typically one quarter of your mouth at a time. This is to ensure your comfort during and after the procedure as you may be sore for a few days following the deep cleaning. If you have the procedure performed during the earliest stages of gum disease, however, the scraping is able to be kept to a minimum and the entire mouth can be worked on at once.
Scaling and root planing is a common procedure with the need for very little preparation or recovery. If this procedure is recommended for you, it is important to have it done. It will allow for the least amount of damage to occur to your mouth as a result of gum disease, allowing you to keep your natural teeth as long as possible.