Scaling and Root Planing
At Smile Hilliard, we place a strong emphasis on preventative dental care. Sometimes, however, preventative measures fail to fully prevent gum disease. In these cases, prompt treatment is essential.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Also called gum disease, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. This infection occurs when plaque and tartar accumulate on the surface of a person’s teeth. This buildup pushes the gums away from the teeth, creating pockets where harmful bacteria thrive.
The Four Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease has four stages:
- Gingivitis – The first stage of periodontal disease is marked by red, inflamed gums that might bleed more easily than normal. This early stage can be reversed with more frequent dental hygiene appointments and improved oral hygiene practices at home.
- Early Periodontitis – In the second stage of periodontal disease, the gums become increasingly red and inflamed. They continue to bleed easily and may become sensitive as well. In this stage, the pockets between the teeth and gums become deeper, allowing bacteria to begin to affect and weaken bone structures.
- Moderate Periodontitis – In the third stage of gum disease, the gums begin to noticeably recede, causing significant tooth sensitivity. Due to weakening periodontal ligaments and a deteriorating jawbone, teeth begin to loosen.
- Advanced Periodontitis – In the most advanced stage of gum disease, the gums are significantly recessed, significant bone damage has occurred, and patients begin to lose teeth.
The Importance of Treating Periodontal Disease
Treating periodontal disease is essential to preserving not only your oral health but also your general health.
In addition to causing serious local symptoms in and around the mouth, untreated gum disease has also been associated with various systemic health problems such as generalized inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, dementia, and issues with the reproductive system. Periodontal disease can also increase a person’s risk of respiratory infections.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Disease Treatment With Scaling and Root Planing
The approach to treating periodontal disease varies based on a patient’s symptoms, risk factors, and how far the infection has progressed. Typically, we address gum disease with a multifaceted approach to get the infection under control and prevent it from worsening with ongoing management.
Dr. Sanyk might recommend treatment with scaling and root planing for some mild and moderate cases of periodontal disease.
What Is Scaling?
Scaling is a process that occurs during all routine dental cleanings. It is the process of scraping the teeth with special dental tools to remove the tartar and plaque buildup from the surfaces of the teeth.
What Is Root Planing?
Root planing is a deeper cleaning that reaches beneath the gum line to remove buildup from the roots of the teeth. Additionally, root planing smooths the surfaces of the roots, eliminating grooves where bacteria like to grow to hinder future bacterial growth. We also apply a strong antiseptic to sterilize the treatment area during this procedure.
Additional Approaches to Treating Periodontal Disease
In addition to scaling and root planing, periodontal disease is usually addressed with more frequent professional dental hygiene appointments and modified oral hygiene at home. We might also prescribe an antibacterial mouth rinse or antibacterial trays to help control bacterial growth between appointments.
In addition to non-surgical treatment approaches, more advanced cases might require treatment with a gingivectomy procedure that uses a soft tissue laser to remove dead and diseased tissues while sterilizing the areas beneath the gums.
Comprehensive Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment for Gum Disease in Hilliard
As with most health concerns, prevention is always the best medicine for addressing periodontal disease. However, if preventive measures have not been effective, then it is important to treat periodontal disease promptly and proactively.
If you receive a periodontal disease diagnosis, we encourage you to schedule a treatment consultation with Dr. Sanyk. She can talk with you about gum disease and how advanced your case is. She can then provide you with a personalized treatment plan to get your oral health back under control.