Your periodontal (gum) tissues are an important part of your oral health. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is one of the most common dental problems in America today. At Fay Periodontal Associates, we specialize in treatments for periodontal disease and other gum-related issues.
If you are diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease, we may recommend a “deep” cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing can help get your gums back to a healthier state.
The Dangers of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by the harmful bacteria found in plaque and calcified plaque (tartar). In response to this bacteria, our immune system produces toxins that unfortunately target our healthy tissues as well. There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the first and most common stage of the disease. Common symptoms include:
Luckily, gingivitis is easy to treat and reverse with improvements to your daily oral hygiene. Flossing at least once a day is perhaps the most important thing you can do to combat gingivitis. If improvements are not made the disease will develop into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a much more serious form of the disease. At this stage, the infection will spread beyond the gums to the connective ligaments and underlying bone. Severe gum recession is also a major symptom. If periodontitis is left untreated, tooth loss will occur. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S.
Deep periodontal pockets are a major symptom of gum disease. These pockets can trap food debris and bacteria, further contributing to the infection. Healthy periodontal pockets are only one to three millimeters in depth. We may recommend a scaling and root planing if you have unhealthy pockets of four millimeters or more.
The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure that is considered the industry standard for treating periodontitis. During your scaling and root planing, Dr. Ann Fay will use an ultrasonic scaler to clean your teeth and roots. The ultrasonic scaler produces microscopic bubbles that eliminate plaque and tartar deposits while killing off bacteria.
Root planing involves smoothing out the rough surfaces below the gumline. This ensures that plaque, tartar, and bacteria will not re-adhere to the roots once the procedure is complete. Root planing also helps us reduce the depths of your periodontal pockets.
After Your Deep Cleaning
After your deep cleaning, your gums should return to a pink, healthy state. They should fit snugly around the tooth with healthier periodontal pockets. If your gums do not respond well to the procedure, you may need alternative treatments.
Once you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you are at high risk for a reoccurrence. Be sure to pay special attention to your gums during your oral hygiene routine. Regular checkups and cleanings are also vital to your periodontal health.
Schedule Your Appointment
Don’t neglect your periodontal health! Call one of our two locations to schedule your appointment today.