What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Gum disease is by far one of the worst oral healthcare issues imaginable. While it is somewhat rare for those individuals who practice regular, quality oral hygiene practices, such as brushing their teeth, flossing, and making regular trips to the dentist in order to have a checkup, cleaning as well as other maintenance procedures and simply to have a professional examine your mouth from time to time. however, despite the rarity of gum disease, the fact is that it can happen to anyone. According to Dr. David Malakov, a Top Periodontist Specialist In Queens, gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Now many of us have heard of the buildup of plaque, and none of us want to experience that. From the pamphlets the dentist used to give us in our youth, to the advice given to you in every single toothpaste commercial, plaque is not your friend. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss. However, with regular checkup, as advised by Dr. Malakov, a periodontist specialist himself, gum disease can be caught early.

As with pretty much any condition in the world of healthcare, but particularly when it comes to gum disease issues, early detection is absolutely key! When gum disease is caught early enough, it likely hasn’t had the time to cause the structural damage that it is characterized by – essentially the issues to the gum line and the receding of the gum line. As a periodontist specialist, if he is able to catch it early, treatment simply requires a thorough, professional cleaning – as the pockets between your gums and teeth have yet to become too deep to reach. However, in the event you haven’t gotten to the periodontist specialist in time, then issues may arise and the pockets have likely become far too deep to reach with a simple oral cleaning – and it is very likely that scaling and root planing will be required.

In some cases, especially those individuals who have extremely poor oral hygiene, and thus suffer from chronic periodontitis, also known as chronic gum disease, that has advanced past the stage of gingivitis treatment. Unfortunately, chronic periodontitis affects nearly 50% of the adults within the US at some point in their lives. While a figure like this is quite staggering, in many cases, these issues are discovered and treated fairly soon after detection through a procedure like scaling and root planing.

The deep cleaning method of scaling and root planing is the most common method of gum disease and gingivitis treatment – involving a two-part deep cleaning method that has become fairly common in the world of oral healthcare. The process of scaling is when your dentist or periodontal specialist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Then your periodontal specialist will begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic. Once the gum disease and gingivitis treatment of scaling and root planing is completed, it is important that you heed the advice of your periodontal specialist and any after care methods he or she might provide you. You will likely feel some pain and oral sensitivity, for the next day or so, but it will be fairly minor. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and even bleed – in order to prevent infection and further issues with pain, you might be given some pain relievers and possibly an oral rinse to disinfect your gums. It is vital that you practice quality oral hygiene as that is what caused this issue in the first place, for more information on periodontal issues such as this, be sure to contact Dr. Malakov today.