Fight Gingivitis With Scaling and Root Planing
A HEALTHY MOUTH NEEDS HEALTHY GUMS
Although a lot of people in Highlands Ranch, CO worry about the health and appearance of their teeth, but they don't spend enough time focusing on the health of their gums. The soft tissue holding your teeth in place deserves more of your attention because if you ignore them, you do so at your own peril. Without proper care, your gums can become infected and inflamed, which will eventually affect the health and appearance of your smile. Our team at Rock Canyon Dental Care has developed a short guide on scaling and root planing, a treatment that helps Highlands Ranch, CO patients with gingivitis.
WHO NEEDS SCALING AND ROOT PLANING?
Also known as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is typically performed on Highlands Ranch, CO patients with gingivitis. The first stage of periodontal (gum) disease, gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue caused by a buildup under the gumline. People at higher risk for gingivitis include those who smoke or chew tobacco and people who do not have good oral hygiene (especially those who don't floss regularly). A family history of gum disease may also put you at higher risk. Pregnant women also need to be vigilant in their oral health to avoid what's commonly known as pregnancy gum disease. During your annual oral health examination, your dentist will check the condition of your gums and measure your gum pockets. If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, your dentist will probably recommend a scaling and root planing procedure (also known as SRP therapy).
For both your oral and overall health, it's smart to treat gum disease at the first signs with SRP therapy. Without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is treated with periodontal surgery (also known as flap or pocket reduction surgery) and may also require gum and bone graft surgery to restore your oral health. Current research is investigating the possible link between advanced gum disease and other serious conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
SIGNS OF GINGIVITIS
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Gums that bleed easily
- Swollen, tender, or red gums
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
- A receding gumline
- Gum pockets that are more than three millimeters deep
WHAT IS SCALING?
Dental scaling is the process of removing tartar, plaque, plus other buildup from below your gumline. Using a special instrument, your dentist will carefully scale the buildup from your gum pockets. Some dentists use an ultrasonic scaler to loosen buildup with vibrations before switching to a manual scaler. Your dentist will continue this process to scale the gum pockets in the front and back of each tooth.
WHAT IS ROOT PLANING?
After your teeth have been scaled to remove buildup from your gum pockets, your dentist will perform the root planing portion of your SRP therapy. Root planing smoothes the surface of your tooth to eliminate rough areas of your enamel. These uneven areas make it easy for debris to get caught, so root planing prevents future buildup. During root planing, your dentist will use a special tool to reach as deep as possible below your gumline without making any incisions.
SEDATION OPTIONS WITH YOUR SRP THERAPY
Since a scaling and root planing treatment addresses areas under your gumline, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb your gums. This should help keep you from feeling any pain during the procedure]. For patients with dental fears and anxiety, Rock Canyon Dental Care also offers sedation dentistry options. This may include nitrous oxide gas (commonly known as laughing gas) or oral-conscious medication to keep you calm and comfortable but still awake during your SRP therapy. If you are interested in sedation dentistry, a consultation with your dentist will be needed before your procedure to determine if you are a good candidate.
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR SRP THERAPY
- PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS
In addition to brushing and flossing at home, professional cleanings at your dentist can help the health of your gums and teeth. A professional cleaning removes built-up plaque and tartar in areas that you may miss on your own. Regularly removing this buildup can prevent a reoccurrence of gum disease as well as cavities.
- A GOOD HOME ORAL CARE ROUTINE
Between appointments at your dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO, you need to take good care of your teeth and gums at home. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Our team of dental professionals at Rock Canyon Dental Care offers product recommendations and checks your brushing and flossing technique to make sure you are receiving the greatest benefits to your oral health.
- ORAL HEALTH EXAMS
Everyone needs to be visiting their dentist at least once a year for oral health examinations. After an SRP treatment, your dentist may recommend scheduling exams more often so they can check the health of your gums.
- ANOTHER SRP TREATMENT
If needed, your dentist may need to perform two or more scaling and root planing treatments to fully restore your gums. After each treatment, your gum pockets should get smaller as your gum tissue becomes stronger and healthier. If multiple SRP treatments are not enough, your dentist may need to perform periodontal surgery.
In many cases, your dentist will prescribe a round of oral antibiotics to take after your SRP therapy. This will help remove any remaining bacteria in your mouth and help your gums heal properly.
STOP GUM DISEASE EARLY WITH SRP THERAPY
If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO. When diagnosed early and treated quickly with a scaling and root planing procedure, gingivitis can be stopped. The team at Rock Canyon Dental Care uses state-of-the-art equipment to perform SRP therapy quickly and efficiently for restored oral health. Contact our practice in Highlands Ranch, CO to schedule an oral health examination and consultation so we can develop a personalized oral health restoration treatment plan that may include scaling and root planing.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.