scaling and root planing

Scaling and Root Planing, how it can help your Gum Disease

Scaling and Root Planing, how it can help your Gum DiseasePoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective treatments for gum disease since this cleaning method reaches the roots of the teeth, below the gum line where harmful bacteria lurk. If your dentist in Poway has recommended that you receive a scaling and root planing treatment, here is what you can expect and how the procedure can help treat your gum disease.

Scaling and Root Planing – The Procedure

When you visit the dentist for a scaling and root planing, the first step involved is to ensure your mouth is numb so that you can remain comfortable throughout your procedure. We know, just the sound of the words scaling and root planing may seem a bit scary, but it is really nothing more than a deep cleaning. In other words, the hygienist removes tartar buildup from around your teeth just like a regular dental cleaning but goes a little below the gum line to also clean a portion of each tooth’s roots. Typically, only one side of the mouth is cleaned at a time. This way, you do not have to have your entire mouth numb at once. Afterward, when the numbness wears off, you may experience slight discomfort along your gums, but nothing that should interfere with eating or your daily activities.

Why you may need scaling and root planing

When gum disease or periodontitis is present, your gums actually begin to separate from your teeth forming pockets also known as perio pockets. These pockets are impossible to clean with a toothbrush and floss. If the bacteria and tartar are not removed from theseperio pockets, the disease worsens and the pockets get deeper until eventually, teeth become loose, fall out or need to be extracted. All the while this harmful bacteria can enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your entire body. You essentially end up with a chronic infection that your body is fighting. Scaling and root planing helps stop this disease so that your gums can heal. Treating periodontal disease can improve your oral health, and help prevent harmful bacteria from affecting your body and its vital organs.

Risks of scaling and root planing

While there are certainly minimal risks involved with scaling and root planing, it is usually found that the benefits far outweigh these risks. However, keep in mind that you should choose an expert dentist in Poway to treat your gum disease to minimize your risk of any complications. Also, it is essential that you discuss your complete medical history with the dentist prior to your treatment, because it may be necessary for you to take antibiotics before your procedure if you:

  • Have a low immune system
  • Experience heart issues
  • Have artificial joints or other medical implants
  • Had major surgery recently

The purpose of taking antibiotics before a scaling and root planing procedure is to ensure the patient’s safety. During the cleaning procedure, harmful bacteria will be dislodged that could ultimately enter your bloodstream and cause harm. Therefore, certain medical conditions may require antibiotics beforehand.

Caring for your mouth after scaling and root planing

Since the purpose of scaling and root planing is to clean up your mouth, it is only going to be effective if you start better habits and kick the old ones.

  1. Stop smoking, it slows healing and can exacerbate oral bacteria that cause gum disease.
  2. Adhere to good oral hygiene practices of brushing twice daily and flossing once a day. Remember to continue visiting your dentist in Poway for regular checkups and cleanings as well.
  3. Limit or avoid sugar intake, especially sodas or other sweetened beverages.

Treatment for gum disease can only remain effective if you remain committed to taking personal steps to maintain your oral health. Your family dentist in Poway will recommend how often you need to receive scaling and root planing, as well as any other treatments that you may need for your gum disease.

Oral Health Care in Poway

To learn more about how to protect your oral health or to schedule a consultation, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway, Carmel Mountain, and Rancho Bernardo, California.