What happens when it’s been years since you’ve gone to the dentist, and gum disease is in full force? A routine preventive cleaning is meant to remove tartar deposits and plaque that accumulate over a period of a few months, not several years. When severe bacterial levels are present, and gum disease is in full force, a more therapeutic approach is needed when disease conditions are present. Periodontal scaling and root planings, also known as “deep cleanings” help to remove disease-causing tartar and plaque, so that the gum tissue is no longer infected and bone levels are not compromised.
Symptoms of active gum disease include:
Scaling and root planings are usually done in one quadrant of the mouth at a time, with one or two quadrants treated at each visit. This allows local anesthesia to be used if needed, to increase patient comfort. During the procedure, an ultrasonic instrument will remove calcified tartar deposits on the surface of the roots, and create a clean environment under the gums so that the infection can be reversed. A customized oral hygiene plan will also be discussed, to help patients perform thorough plaque removal in areas of the most concern.
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Putting treatment off for too long will lead to bone loss, which in turn causes loss of teeth. Thankfully, scaling and root planing followed by a dedicated periodontal maintenance plan can help halt gum disease and keep patient’s smiles healthier for many years down the road.
Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli
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