Gum disease is actually way more common than you’d think. It’s especially common among adults, who in many cases don’t realize they have it until a dentist examines them. This is because the symptoms of gum disease are difficult to detect without a trained eye. If you have advanced gum disease, the bone supporting your teeth could break down to the point where teeth need to be extracted! The good news is Dr. Weber can perform scaling and root planing at his office, so your smile has a chance. If you have tender or sensitive gums, don’t wait to call his office!
While routine cleanings are ideal for removing small amounts of plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth, scaling and root planing are considered “deep cleaning.” This is because they address bacteria that sits underneath the gum line. In the early stages of gum disease, gingivitis can appear. However, this type of gum disease is curable with a simple cleaning and improved at-home care.
Alternatively, if it escalates into advanced conditions like periodontitis, deep cleaning is necessary to effectively treat it. The goal is to stop the progression of the gum disease so it can begin to heal.
While red and puffy gums are indicative of gingivitis, the following symptoms are a sign that you need to have scaling and root planing performed. They include:
Treating advanced gum disease requires two steps. The first step is the scaling process, which involves using a specific scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from above and beneath the gum line. This includes the areas beneath the pocket depth, which is a small space in between your teeth that formed as a result of gum disease. The second step is root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of teeth so they can reattach to the gum tissue. It also works to remove rough areas, which are more prone to becoming damaged by bacteria.
Since we use anesthetic to numb the gum tissue before treatment, we ask that you refrain from eating for the next two hours or until the anesthetic completely wears off. This is because it can be easy to bite or burn your tongue, lip and cheek when it is still numb. Over the next several days, it’s also important to avoid hard or sharp foods that your gums could be sensitive to. This includes chips, popcorn, seeds, nuts, and other foods similar in nature.