Scaling and Root Planing
East Wenatchee, WA
Here at Johnson Family Dental in East Wenatchee, WA we want all of our patients to be pleased with their smile. Periodontal disease is a serious issue that can affect your oral health. Our goal is to educate our patients on the causes and effects of periodontal disease so they can take an active role in their oral health.
What is periodontal disease?
If you noticed some part of your body bleeding every time you took a moment to clean it you would probably take notice and become quite concerned about your health. Strangely, many people believe that it’s perfectly normal for their gums to bleed when they brush or floss their teeth – it is not normal. Bleeding gums is one of the signs of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease describes an infection of the gums by the bacteria that live in your mouth.
Plaque and tartar are the cause of cavities in teeth. Bacteria build up on the surface of your teeth and eventually form colonies, known as plaque. When plaque is left for some time, it will harden into a very tough substance known as tartar. Both plaque and tartar can be quite harmful to your teeth, and if these colonies are not removed daily, they can begin to accumulate below the gumline, forming periodontal pockets. Normal, healthy gums sit flush with the surface of your teeth, but once plaque and tartar push their way below the gumline, they will open up a pocket between the gums and the base of the teeth. Food particles and other detritus can fall into these pocket, causing irritation and infection of the gum tissue and even damage to the roots of your teeth.
Early and Late Stage Periodontal Disease
There are two stages of periodontal disease – early and later stage. We often refer to the early stage of the condition as “gum disease..” If we catch it while it’s still in the early stages, we are often able to reverse the condition with plenty of at-home oral care and some professional cleanings at our office.
Late stage periodontal disease occurs when the gums have formed significant pockets that can’t be re-attached to the surface of the teeth. While periodontal disease that has been allowed to progress into the later stages cannot be cured, we can still take steps to treat it to lessen the effects it has on your oral health.
Scaling and Root Planing can Treat Periodontal Disease
Scaling and root planing procedure can significantly cut down on the negative effects of advanced periodontal disease. The first step of the procedure is to numb the area that we will be working on with a local anesthetic so that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. We will then use a tool called the ultrasonic scaler to remove built-up plaque and tartar from below the gumline, within the periodontal pockets. These detritus will be swept away by a steady stream of water provided by the ultrasonic scaler. Once the teeth have been scaled, we will go back over them with a special device called a planer, which works to smooth out the surface of the roots of your teeth. When your gums have to constantly deal with plaque and tartar build-up they are constantly irritated and infected, so smoothing out the surface of the roots provides your gums with a respite from irritation and infection.