Health and Fitness

What You Need to Know About Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

Gum disease is a prevalent dental issue that affects millions of people each year. When the soft tissues of the gums get infected due to poor dental hygiene, an inflammatory condition known as gingivitis ensues. As the disease progresses, it can recede gums, tooth loss, bone degradation, and more if not treated. Because there are treatments for gum disease, there is hope. So, tooth scaling and root planing are one of them.

What Is Gum Disease?

When the tissues around your teeth become infected or inflamed, this is known as gum disease. Plaque is to blame since it forms on your teeth on a constant basis. Tartar, or dental calculus, is formed when bacteria accumulate on the teeth. When your gums peel away from the teeth, they can produce enormous pockets that your toothbrush cannot reach. Visiting the dentist is necessary.

Your gums may be red, swollen, and bleeding in the early stages, which is known as gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, bone and tooth loss, and other health issues.
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The good news is that gum disease can be prevented with frequent dental checkups and proper teeth and gum care.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing in Dentistry?

The non-surgical method of tooth scaling and root planing is frequently prescribed for individuals with moderate to severe gum disease, and because it is highly invasive, local anesthesia is virtually always used. Patients may also be sedated if they are very apprehensive or concerned about the surgery in specific cases.

The tooth scaling and root planing portion of the operation is the first step, during which your dentist will use special instruments to remove any plaque or tartar that has collected on your teeth over time. Toughened plaque occurs on the teeth and hardens into brown or yellow deposits, whereas tartar is a transparent, sticky film that develops on the teeth. Gum disease can be brought on by either plaque or tartar.

Your periodontal pockets will be addressed by your dentist after these have been removed. Gum disease causes these almost minuscule spaces between your teeth and gums. In spite of their small size, bacteria and food debris can cause them to swell and get infected. They’ll be removed by your dentist with the help of really little tools. Your dentist may find it necessary to insert antibiotic fibers into them in order to assist combat infection. Then, about a week later, they can be removed.

The second component of the operation is root planing, which is concerned with smoothing out all of the rough surfaces on the roots of your impacted teeth that have been created during the previous step. Gum re-attachment, sealing periodontal pockets and preventing gum recession are all possible if this is done. Plaque and tartar are less likely to form on the teeth, reducing the likelihood of further dental issues.

How Is Root Planing and Scaling Done?

A topical or local anesthetic may be used initially by your dentist to numb the area of your mouth where they will be working.

Scaling is the process by which your dentist removes all of the plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth, both above and below the gum line, all the way down to the periodontal pocket.

The rough roots of your teeth will be planted by your dentist once they have removed all of the plaque from them. This will help in the reattachment of your gums to your teeth.

The tooth scaling and root planing may necessitate more than one dental appointment, depending on the severity of your problem. This technique may necessitate a post-procedure examination.

What Are the Risks of Tooth Scale and Root Planing

You could get bacteremia (blood infection) from dental scaling and root planing because it introduces germs into your bloodstream. Depending on the severity of the illness, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse or antibiotics.

Scaling and root planing might cause a few days of discomfort in the gums and sensitivity in the teeth. Gum bleeding and swelling/tenderness are possible side effects immediately following therapy.

Does Scaling and Root Planning Work?

Periodontal scaling and root planing, which removes bacteria and calculus from the gums, is effective in the majority of chronic gum disease cases. However, there are a few things that can alter how well your teeth respond to the procedure:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Tooth damage-causing misalignment

What Is Gum Disease Surgical Therapy?

If your gum disease has progressed to a critical stage, you may require oral surgery. This includes

  • Grafts of soft tissue. Attached to the damaged area is a little piece of tissue taken from the roof of your mouth.
  • Pocket reduction surgery (flap surgery). Cuts are done in the gum tissue to raise the gum tissue in this procedure. This reveals your roots, making it easier to do root scaling and planing procedures.
  • Guided tissue regeneration. A biocompatible material is inserted into the spaces between the teeth and bone when the distance between them and the bone becomes excessively large.

Gum disease can be prevented and recovered from periodontal tooth scaling and root planing if proper oral hygiene is practiced on a regular basis. At-home dental care and a healthy diet can help you maintain treatment outcomes and avoid recurrent gum problems.

References:

1-An international review of musculoskeletal disorders in the dental hygiene profession

Available online 7 December 2020, Version of Record 7 December 2020.

https://doi.org/10.1922/IDJ_2514Hayes10

2-Antimicrobial and Attractant Roles for Chemerin in the Oral Cavity during Inflammatory Gum Disease

Front. Immunol., 29 March 2017

https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00353

3-Microbial colonization of the periodontal pocket and its significance for periodontal therapy

First published: 30 November 2017

https://doi.org/10.1111/prd.12147

4-The periodontal pocket

First published: 30 November 2017

https://doi.org/10.1111/prd.12203

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