When is Periodontal Scaling and Root Scaling Necessary?

When is Periodontal Scaling and Root Scaling Necessary?

Jan 10, 2022

At the initial stages, gum disease is typically only mildly irritating. At the advanced stages, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and in worst-case scenarios may even require surgery. Gum disease is not something you want to leave untreated as the severity of it will only worsen. Learn about the three stages of periodontitis, starting from the least to most severe.

  • Stage 1 – Gingivitis

At the initial stage of gum disease, gingivitis causes reddening of the gums, and the gums become irritated, particularly during eating or brushing your teeth. Although you can’t experience teeth loss at this stage, you may start to see infected pockets emerging around the gum line.

  • Stage 2 – Periodontitis

As gingivitis worsens, it becomes periodontitis, which is the second stage of gum disease. Periodontitis looks like red, infected pockets forming and spreading to the entire gums. Furthermore, patients with periodontitis are likely to suffer permanent damage to the fibers locking the teeth in place.

  • Stage 3 – Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis occurs in gum tissues that are permanently damaged. Teeth become exceedingly loose and fall out. The infection paired with bleeding makes both eating and speaking very challenging and uncomfortable. At this stage, surgery is your only option.

Periodontal Scaling and Root Scaling

When gum disease is at its earliest stage, it’s easy to treat with a practice known as periodontal scaling and root planing. Scaling and planing remove the plaque and tartar clamped between the gums and the teeth, resulting in the disease. The procedure effectively stops the infection from spreading.

Teeth and root scaling are a form of comprehensive teeth cleaning. Both procedures are in-depth compared to typical cleanings. A dentist recommends periodontal scaling and root scaling when you have signs of periodontal disease, especially when the symptoms are chronic. These procedures help prevent permanent damage from occurring.

Both procedures require more than one visit to the dentist. Depending on the severity of your disease, your dentist may give you local anesthesia. They may also use local anesthesia if you have receding gums.

To receive professional tooth scaling therapy, you need to visit an experienced dental expert. Westwood Dental Group can help you with scaling and root planing treatment. Although recovering from the procedure typically only takes a couple of days, it may take longer in some cases.

Who Needs Scaling and Root Planing?

Your dentist recommends scaling and root planing in the case of a diagnosis of sulcus pockets that are deeper than 3mm. The dentist uses a probe to measure these pockets during a standard dental exam. In addition, they can use x-rays to locate calculus inside periodontal pockets.

See a dentist immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms which could be signs of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums is one of the first indicators of plaque beneath the gum line triggering bleeding when brushing or flossing. Bleeding is minimal when little bacteria are present, and it’s massive when plaque deposits are plenty. Swift treatment with scaling and root planing helps get rid of the plaque. Maintaining good oral hygiene eliminates the need for the procedure.

  • Deep pockets

During routine checkups and cleanings, the dentist uses a probe to measure the depth of the tissue around the teeth. Most dentists recommend scaling and root planing if the pocket exceeds five millimeters in depth.

  • Gum tissue inflammation

Some patients may experience redness and swelling on the gums during the early stages of gingivitis. Despite not being as severe as an abscess, it still signifies bacterial invasion and irritates the gum tissue. The scaling and root planing procedure can flush the deposits and smoothen the teeth’ roots to prevent plaque that harbors bacteria from gathering in that region.

  • Visible gum recession

Patients should visit the dentist as soon as the gum pockets form and begin to deepen, causing their gum line to shrink or pull away from the tooth. Gum recession is more prevalent in older people.

  • Bone loss

Bone loss is discovered via an x-ray. It’s advisable to receive annual dental x-rays to assess the teeth, roots, and jawbone. If the x-ray scan indicates bone loss or separation of the tooth roots and jaw, the procedure may be helpful.

Other indicators include:

  • Pain when brushing or flossing
  • Gum discoloration
  • Tooth pain

Scaling and Root Planing Effectiveness

Your dentist must remove plaque and harmful bacteria to prevent the infection from recurring. The effectiveness of scaling and root planing is subject to certain factors such as:

  • The progression of the disease at the time of initial intervention
  • Patient adherence to oral hygiene and treatment schedules
  • Depth of periodontal pockets
  • The identical shape and grooves in the roots of teeth affect the visibility of calculus and debris

Frequency for Need Scaling and Root Planing?

The frequency for scaling and root planing treatment really depends on the condition of the gums. It is advised that you get two teeth cleanings per year if your oral health is relatively good. In case of advanced periodontitis, you may need to receive at least two deep cleanings a year or more, along with routine professional cleanings.

To determine whether you need scaling and root planing, ask your dentist. They’ll be able to isolate the cause of your symptoms and recommend the best solution. If you have some of the symptoms mentioned above, schedule an exam sooner rather than later.

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