Scaling and root planing are often referred to as “deep cleaning,” which sounds like a good thing. What doesn’t need a deep cleaning every now and then? However, scaling and root planing isn’t a regular part of your oral healthcare. Scaling and root planing is used specifically in cases where bacterial infection has penetrated the gum line. Based on factors, like your genetics and how well you take care of your teeth, you may be more susceptible to bacterial buildup around and beneath the gum line. In these cases, your dentist will likely recommend scaling and root planing to remove the infection.

Gum Disease Is Caused by Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infection is most commonly associated with teeth. When plaque forms on the surfaces of your teeth, it eventually causes a cavity. The acid produced by bacteria can wear away at your enamel over time. Gum disease is caused by the same process, just in a different area. Bacteria can build up around and beneath the gum line. This causes inflammation, and eventually gum disease. The beginning stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This condition is reversible when treated correctly.

Scaling and Root Planing Can Eliminate Gum Disease in its Early Stages

Scaling and root planing are used to remove bacteria from beneath the gums. Scaling is the first step in the process. Your dentist will administer local anesthetic (and may ask if you’d like nitrous oxide for an additional relaxing effect) and then carefully access the roots of your tooth. Your dentist will thoroughly remove all of the bacteria from the roots of the tooth to reduce the inflammation and eliminate the infection. Then, your dentist will plane your roots, smoothing them out so that they can reconnect cleanly to your jawbone.

Periodontitis Is Irreversible Advanced Gum Disease

Gingivitis is reversible when treated quickly enough. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist on a regular basis. You don’t want a condition like this to linger. If you don’t treat gingivitis quickly enough, you can develop periodontitis. This advanced form of the disease doesn’t just sever the connection between tooth and bone, it actually causes jawbone degradation. When your jawbone starts losing mass, it can cause your teeth to fall out. Further, your body can’t regrow this bone, so you’ll have to continue managing the condition to avoid serious harm.

Ask Your Dentist About Scaling and Root Planing

If you notice the signs of gum disease, contact your dentist immediately. Attending biannual appointments is often enough to reduce your risk for these conditions. At Greenhaven Family Dental, you can expect thorough care in a welcoming environment. Schedule an appointment for a checkup by contacting the Greenhaven Family Dental office in Baxter, MN at 218-454-0523.