What's Scaling And Root Planing?
If you have gum disease, you're probably wondering about your options for treating it. One of the most widely-used and effective ways of eliminating gum disease is through scaling and root planing, a deep-cleaning procedure offered by Dr. Reina Garcia, your family dentist at Millbrook Smiles in Sudbury, MA. You can learn more about this treatment here.
What is gum disease?
You probably know that plaque is the substance that causes cavities to form on the surface of your teeth. Unfortunately, plaque's destruction doesn't stop there. When this bacteria-laden substance is allowed to collect in the mouth - a process that usually takes about 24 hours - it begins to harden into tartar. At this point, it begins attacking healthy gum tissue and causes gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. The gums begin to swell and no longer fit tightly against the teeth, creating a "pocket" for which more bacteria can reside. The progression of bacterial collection creates bone loss and tissue damage, at which point your Sudbury family dentist may diagnose you with periodontitis.
How does scaling and root planing help?
As mentioned before, scaling and root planing is a way of deep-cleaning the teeth to eliminate tartar. The process starts with scaling, in which we use a small hand-held tool to scrape the tartar deposits away from the teeth. Root planing involves the same type of treatment, but a slightly different and more delicate tool is used to clean the exposed roots of the teeth. These tools may be manual or ultrasonic, which means they vibrate rapidly to assist with the removal of plaque and tartar, and also create tiny air bubbles that oxygenate the areas.
Gum disease can be well-managed with special products and instruments at home, but scaling and root planing must be done to start the process. Contact Millbrook Smiles in Sudbury, MA to make an appointment with Dr. Garcia today.