What is Scaling and Root Planing?
- What exactly is a “deep cleaning?”
- Why do I need it?
- Why can’t I have just a regular cleaning?
We at Paradise Ridge Dentistry have heard you and would like this opportunity to clear up any confusion.
A normal cleaning is for individuals that have calculus and plaque above the gum line. This cleaning also referred to as a “prophylaxis”, is a simple procedure to remove calculus and plaque from the patients gums, preventing irritation of gums also known as gingivitis. At this stage of oral hygiene teeth are firmly planted in their socket and no tissue damage or bone loss occurs here.
A deep cleaning is necessary if calculus and debris is detected under the gum line (subgingival). When calculus has been detected below the gum line a special cleaning is required to remove it. This cleaning is commonly referred to as Scaling and Root Planing. This special cleaning is designed to remove the debris under your gums that has gone too deep below the gum line, for you to remove yourself.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontal disease. At this level of oral hygiene gums pull away from the teeth and form “pockets”. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The infection that forms in those pockets depths then secret toxins that breaks down your bone. When this happens teeth can become loose and tooth loss may occur.
Scaling and Root Planing is the cornerstone of periodontal disease and the first step a dentist will use in treating periodontal disease. After the initial deep cleaning, patients are seen for a follow up cleaning (perio -maintenance) about three to four months after to assure pockets stay clean and bacteria free.
Many of us have periodontal disease but it goes undetected simply because we do not follow through with our regular checkups and cleanings. Symptoms of periodontal disease include, red or bleeding gums, gums sensitive to the touch, bad taste in mouth and bad breath. More severe symptoms include pus between teeth and gums and loose teeth. Gums that are diseased may appear puffy, and they may bleed easily. Healthy gums should be firm to the touch, and they should be a light pink color.
Bacteria in the mouth can cause disease in our bodies which could lead to more compound problems. So take an hour or two out of life to get yourself to the dentist. It will greatly contribute to your dental health an overall well-being.
Learn more about gum disease treatment and how it is diagnosed on our website here.
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