March 7, 2019
The majority of adult Americans suffers from some form of gum disease, but if it’s identified and treated early enough, the symptoms can be reversed. One way to accomplish this is with a deep dental cleaning, which is also called a scaling and root planing procedure. How does the process work, and how can you determine whether you need one? Read on to get the answers!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of the gum tissue that is brought on by acute plaque (hundreds of different bacteria that form a single structure) growth. One of the more common early signs of the condition is gum bleeding, and if it’s not addressed, there can be jawbone regression, ligament damage, gum recession and even tooth loss.
One of the ways the disease expresses itself is by forming germ pockets beneath the gums. However, the problem can be identified at a routine preventive care visit by your dental hygienist. Then, if needed, you can undergo a scaling and root planing procedure to restore your gum health.
How a Scaling and Root Planing Works
The procedure is done in two stages that involve the following:
- Scaling – The scaling process involves the removal of plaque around the surface of the teeth and inside the gum pockets with the use of either an ultrasonic (vibration driven) instrument or a manual scaling tool.
- Root Planing – The hygienist will then use a special tool to remove bacteria that have accumulated along the root of the tooth. This is followed by the smoothing of the tooth root to prevent any new growth.
How to Determine Whether You Need a Scaling and Root Planing
To eliminate any guessing and to have your oral health accurately assessed, you’ll need to visit a local dentist for preventive care. While there, your gums will be examined.
A measuring tool will be used to determine the depth of your gum pockets (a depth of 3 millimeters is considered healthy). If your current depth is found to be greater than 5 millimeters, that’s a usual indicator of the presence of gum disease and the need for a scaling and root planing.
Why Action is Important
There are two major points to gleam: that it’s important to receive preventive care to know about the status of your gum health, and the necessity of taking the proper action to have any issues treated. By being proactive, you can prevent tooth loss, enjoy fresher breath and have better confidence.
So to get a new lease on gum and oral health, contact your local dentist to schedule a visit today!
About the Author
Dr. J. Benjamin Patrick is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, where he earned his DMD degree. To further enhance the care he provides, he has received advanced postgraduate training from the L.D. Pankey Institute and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Additionally, Dr. Patrick is a Fellow of the American Academy of General Dentistry. He restores gum health by performing scaling and root planing procedures at Advanced Dentistry of Athens, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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