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Understanding the Importance of Scaling and Root Planing


Posted on 2/23/2017 by Dr. Dennison
A woman about to receive a scaling and root planning treatment.
It starts with a little bit of bleeding while flossing. Next, the gums become red and swollen. You may or may not feel a little bit of tenderness. These are the earliest signs of the first stage of gum disease: gingivitis. If caught early, this stage is easily treatable.

However, if left untreated, you may start experiencing bad breath, an off taste in your mouth, receding gums and loose teeth, meaning gum disease has advanced. In this case, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is a dental procedure that cleans your teeth in great detail. Scaling is performed on the surface of your teeth, often with a metal dental tool. Some may use an ultrasonic tool instead. Root planing is completed under the surface of the gums near the root, smoothing the surface and reducing inflammation of the gums.

Gets Rid of Plaque

No matter how often you brush, some plaque can still remain on your teeth. It can harden and push on your gums, causing them to become inflamed and eventually infected. Scaling and root planing can get rid of even the most stubborn plaque, allowing the inflammation to go down. It will often take more than one visit, and should the gums be painful, your dentist can give you a local anesthetic before beginning the procedure.

Prevents Further Damage
When gum disease progresses beyond gingivitis, other parts of your mouth, and even your body, are at risk. Your teeth could become infected or even come out and even the jawbone could begin to deteriorate. Scaling and root planing begins the healing process.

Lessens the Severity of Surgery
When gum disease has passed into periodontitis, surgery may be required to remove the infection. If this is the case, your dentist will perform scaling and root planing prior to the surgical procedure to lessen the surgery's severity.

When gum disease goes untreated, it can quickly progress into something more serious. It goes beyond the gums into the teeth and even the jawbone. Scaling and root planing gets rid of plaque, reduce inflammation and help you to begin healing.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about your oral health.


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3100 Richmond Ave Suite 509
Houston, TX 77098

Phone (832) 975-0990


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University Periodontal Associates, 3100 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX, 77098 - Related Phrases: dental implants Houston TX : Periodontist Houston TX : All-On-4 Houston TX : (832) 975-0990 : www.gums-houston.com : 5/26/2017