You may have heard your dentist or hygienist grill you about the plaque buildup on your teeth, and it’s for good reason: Too much plaque can lead to gum disease, and serious gum disease (also known as periodontitis) results in deep pockets between your gums and teeth that are difficult to clean. When this happens, scaling and root planing are necessary steps in the deep cleaning of the roots of your teeth. If you live in Grayslake, Illinois and want to know if this procedure is necessary for you, call or book a consultation online with Dr. Fatima Afshar at Grayslake Dentistry.
Scaling and root planing are typically performed together as a process to remove and prevent further plaque buildup on the roots of your teeth.
Scaling is the process of removing the existing plaque buildup on your teeth and roots. The roots are the parts of your teeth below your gum line. This plaque contains bacteria that can lead to serious periodontitis, tooth decay, and other conditions. Dr. Afshar may use instruments or lasers for plaque removal.
Root planing comes after scaling. This is the process of smoothing your teeth after plaque removal to keep further buildup from happening quickly. The process also removes bacterial residue that prevents your gums from reattaching to the roots of your teeth.
Depending on the severity of your gum disease, Dr. Afshar may require you to attend multiple scaling and root planing appointments. She may also need to use a local anesthetic, as the affected areas are likely tender and painful.
Scaling and root planing are used to treat severe gum disease or periodontitis. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with periodontitis, you may require scaling and root planing to prevent further plaque buildup that would lead to a diagnosis.
Scaling and root planing can restore your smile and prevent tooth loss or decay as a result of periodontitis. It is important to keep up with these treatments whether Dr. Afshar catches your gum disease in its early or late stages.
Your mouth will likely be sore after a scaling and root planing appointment, so you’ll need to plan accordingly and avoid solid foods until the swelling and tenderness go down. In serious cases, Dr. Afshar might prescribe a mouth rinse or pill to prevent infection and control pain.
She will also give you an aftercare plan to prevent further oral damage. This will include proper oral hygiene such as daily brushing with soft bristles, avoiding tobacco and sugar, and scheduling regular checkups.
If your gums are beginning to separate from your teeth or if your mouth is constantly tender, you should discuss scaling and root planing with Dr. Afshar to see if it is the right course of treatment for you. You should also schedule regular dental checkups to monitor your oral health and prevent periodontitis altogether. Call or schedule an appointment online with Grayslake Dentistry today.