Visiting the dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleaning is an important part of preventing gum disease. However, various factors can lead to problems between dental visits. When your dentist sees signs of gum disease in your mouth, scaling and root planing promote reversal of these signs.

Why You Need Scaling and Root Planing

Dental Assistant During the Scaling and Root Planing Process

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. This sticky bacterial film clings to your teeth and causes gum inflammation. This can lead to symptoms like gum sensitivity and bad breath unless you properly clean your teeth. When your gums become inflamed, they pull away from your teeth, creating spaces called pockets.

Pockets between your gums and teeth are the perfect places for plaque to linger because they’re often unreachable with your toothbrush. When you visit your dentist, he detects these areas early enough that treatment is possible before gum disease runs rampant.

Left unchecked, these pockets between your teeth and gums deepen. When they’re too deep for traditional dental cleaning, your dentist performs scaling and root planing.

You can tell you possibly need scaling and root planing if you experience swollen, bleeding, and sensitive gums. The same is true if your teeth are moving or loosening. Mobile teeth are a sign of a possibly damaged jawbone from gum disease inflammation.

Scaling and Root Planing

Before scaling, the dentist examines your mouth. The dentist then scales, removing plaque and calculus attached to the tooth surfaces, particularly under the gum line and on the root. The dentist uses a special tool for this procedure, an ultrasonic scaling tool. This tool irrigates with an antimicrobial agent beneath the gums, eliminating bacteria.

The dentist uses root planing for removal of cementum and dentin rooted with tartar, microorganisms and unwanted toxins. Planing the root smooths it, promoting healing and ending buildup of bacteria. In essence, root planing scales on the root surface, reducing gum tissue inflammation.

Preventing Gum Disease

Gum disease is tricky. It appears without warning, even when you think you’re taking good care of your teeth and gums. This is why the American Dental Association urges everyone to see their dentist every six months for checkups and periodontal exams. It’s also critical that you take good care of your teeth and gums at home through a healthy brushing, flossing and rinsing routine.

To prevent gum disease in your mouth, brush your teeth at least twice daily. Use a fluoride toothpaste and replace your toothbrush when bristles show wear. Floss daily between your teeth, bridges, crowns, or implants. Use antimicrobial mouthwash each day, too.

Smoking is bad for your health in general, but it also causes gum disease. Thus, you should avoid smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. Eat healthy foods, avoid sugary and sticky sweets, and follow a healthy oral hygiene routine every day.

Houston Area Gum Disease Prevention

In Pasadena, TX Laughlin Dental provides gum disease treatment for patients of all ages. Your family’s teeth and gums are well cared for by Lloyd Laughlin, DDS and his professional staff. Dental services provided by Laughlin Dental include:

Laughlin Dental accepts most major dental insurance plans. Dental financing options are also available.

Patients from all over Houston, Pasadena, Deer Park and Pearland rely on Dr. Laughlin and his team for quality dental care. For your family’s healthiest teeth and gums, call Laughlin Dental now at 281-864-0996 for a consultation.