Scaling and Root Planing Ann Arbor
When gum disease has progressed to the more serious stages, often referred to as periodontitis, something needs to be done. While gingivitis, an infection of the gums characterized by red, swollen gums, can be easily reversed by taking care of your teeth, periodontitis cannot. Without professional treatment, the condition only gets worse, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss and severe health issues. At Embree Dentistry, your oral health, as well as your overall health, is important. To help stop the damage done by periodontitis and allow you to heal, we offer scaling and root planing.
What Is Gum Disease?Gum disease is a serious oral condition. It starts as gingivitis, which often goes unnoticed. The only symptoms are red, swollen gums that may bleed when you floss. These symptoms are easily mistaken for other issues. As the disease progresses, your inflamed gums begin to pull away from your teeth, creating a hiding space for bacteria. These bacteria cannot easily be accessed, and therefore begin to multiply and attack not only your gums but your teeth and jawbone as well. Your gums recede, your jawbone weakens, and your teeth become loose. Bacteria may even spread into your bloodstream and throughout your body.
ScalingThroughout the day, your teeth become coated in a sticky film. This film is known as plaque and can be removed with your toothbrush. However, if the plaque is not dealt with, it hardens, turning to tartar. Tartar pushes against your gum tissue, causing it to become inflamed. Your toothbrush will not be able to get rid of it. Only specialized dental tools will be able to remove tartar both above and below the gum line and administer an antibacterial solution under the gums to kill off any lingering bacteria.
Root PlaningRoot planing is a procedure that smooths the surface of the roots of your teeth. We scrape the roots to remove tartar, bacteria and other harmful toxins. This action also makes it difficult for new bacteria to grab on and start a new infection, which effectively helps your gums to heal.
How Is it Done?Before we begin, we first conduct a thorough examination of your mouth to assess the extent of the damage. We look at your teeth, noting the buildup, as well as your gums. Periodontal pockets are measured. We will even take digital x-rays to get a better idea of what is happening below the gum line, as well as check on the condition of your jawbone. If scaling and root planing is determined to be the best course of action, we begin. If your mouth is particularly sensitive, we may administer a local anesthetic to help manage pain. Then we scale your teeth, removing tartar from all surfaces around your teeth and smooth the roots of your teeth. We will also administer the antibacterial agent to kill any bacteria that may be left behind under the gums.
Benefits of Scaling and Root PlaningThere are some benefits to scaling and root planing:
Scaling and root planing will help to give you back the health of your mouth in the event of more severe gum disease. However, it is not a permanent solution. Proper care of your mouth is required to maintain its health, including regular brushing, flossing and biannual exams and cleanings. If your mouth is suffering from gum disease, let Embree Dentistry help.