Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by the build-up of plaque between the gums and teeth. This substance contains bacteria that attack the teeth and gums, which can cause them to become inflamed. Periodontal disease is preventable with simple habits such as daily brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to the dentist. However, if hygiene is not maintained, a case of the disease can occur. There are several options available to treat it. At George Sferra Dental, we offer dental scaling and root planing.
This procedure is also known as a deep clean. While a routine cleaning goes only to the gum line, a deep cleaning continues below it. Scaling is the process of removing all traces of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from above and below the gumline. Once this debris has been removed, the dentist will plane the tooth roots, meaning that they will be smoothed out. This discourages bacteria from collecting there again and helps the gums to reattach to the teeth. The goal of the procedure is to help the damaged gum tissue to heal and to shrink the periodontal pockets.
Because it is more invasive than a routine cleaning, dental scaling and planing may require an anesthetic and may take more than one visit to complete. Additionally, medication may be prescribed after the treatment is complete.
If a dental scaling and root planing is not sufficient to treat the disease, surgery may be necessary to prevent further damage and possible tooth loss.