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Your periodontal (gum) tissues are an important part of your oral health. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is one of the most common dental problems in America today. At Shoreline Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we specialize in treatments for periodontal disease and other gum-related issues.
If you are diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease, we may recommend a “deep” cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing can help get your gums back to a healthier state.
The Dangers of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by the harmful bacteria found in plaque and calcified plaque (tartar). In response to this bacteria, our immune system produces toxins that unfortunately target our healthy tissues as well. There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the first and most common stage of the disease. Common symptoms include:
Luckily, gingivitis is easy to treat and reverse with improvements to your daily oral hygiene. Flossing at least once a day is perhaps the most important thing you can do to combat gingivitis. If improvements are not made the disease will develop into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a much more serious form of the disease. At this stage, the infection will spread beyond the gums to the connective ligaments and underlying bone. Severe gum recession is also a major symptom. If periodontitis is left untreated, tooth loss will occur. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S.
Deep periodontal pockets are a major symptom of gum disease. These pockets can trap food debris and bacteria, further contributing to the infection. Healthy periodontal pockets are only one to three millimeters in depth. We may recommend a scaling and root planing if you have unhealthy pockets of four millimeters or more.
The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
The initial phase of treatment for the management of periodontal disease often includes a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of disease-causing plaque and tartar deposits on the teeth, while root planing refers to smoothing of root surfaces to remove toxins and create a root surface more compatible with health.
Scaling and root planing is normally performed using local anesthesia to enhance patient comfort. In many cases, it is adequate to control mild or moderate periodontal disease. However, in more advanced cases, surgical therapy may be required to arrest the periodontal disease and return the area to a state of health. Scaling and root planing has a number of benefits, including the prevention of tooth loss and painful abscess formation, removal of unsightly staining and elimination of bad breath. It has even been shown to have general health benefits including the reduction of HbA1C levels.
After Your Deep Cleaning
After your deep cleaning, your gums should return to a pink, healthy state. They should fit snugly around the tooth with healthier periodontal pockets. If your gums do not respond well to the procedure, you may need alternative treatments.
Once you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you are at high risk for a reoccurrence. Be sure to pay special attention to your gums during your oral hygiene routine. Regular checkups and cleanings are also vital to your periodontal health.
Schedule Your Appointment
Don’t neglect your periodontal health! Call 920-452-8802 to schedule your appointment today.