Periodontitis is a serious condition that affects your oral health. This advanced form of gum disease worsens over time when plaque and tartar go untreated to the point that significant deposits of calculus extend below the gum line. Sometimes gum disease extends all the way to the roots of teeth, festering and infecting tissue. In addition to red, swollen, bleeding gums, periodontitis attacks supporting structures such as the jaw bone, causing teeth to loosen. In extreme cases, tooth loss can occur.
Our doctors are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent advanced gum disease. One of the periodontal procedures Fioritto Family Dental offers is scaling and root planing. What is this procedure and why is it necessary?
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Sometimes called deep cleaning, scaling and root planning is a procedure that removes significant plaque and tartar buildup that has accumulated below the gum line, reaching all the way to the teeth root(s). With proper oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, patients can reduce the biofilm left on their teeth by food and bacteria before it becomes plaque deposits.
Even with proper oral hygiene, it’s natural for some plaque to form in hard-to-reach places such as between teeth and at or below the gum line. This is why regular dental visits to have your teeth examined and professionally cleaned are so important.
However, if plaque goes unchecked and is allowed to build and harden, it begins to form tartar or calculus deposits, that bond to tooth enamel. Over time, this can extend far below the gum line, irritating gum tissue so that it begins to separate from the tooth, allowing in more food and bacteria, forming pockets of infection. As conditions worsen, bone loss can occur.
At this point, professional intervention is necessary to remove tartar that has infiltrated the roots of teeth. Root scaling, also known as debridement, involves removing plaque and tartar from the root of a tooth, well below the gum line. However, because tartar bonds to teeth, your doctor must also plane them to ensure there is no calculus or infected tissue remaining in the cementum (where the root of the tooth attaches to the jaw bone) or the dentin.
Why Scaling and Root Planing is Necessary
Unless you have advanced gum disease, chances are you’ll never require a scaling and root planing procedure. By the time calculus has begun to form on the roots of teeth, your oral health is seriously compromised, and intervention by a periodontist is the best option.
If you want to fight off infection, reverse damage, and save your teeth, you’ll need intensive treatment, beginning with scaling and root planning. This procedure can stop the progression of periodontitis so you can begin to regain oral health.
If you have symptoms of periodontitis, contact Fioritto Family Dental at 440-951-5511 or feel free to reach out to our team online!