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Root Planing and Scaling: When is it recommended?

In its earliest stage, which is known as gingivitis, gum disease can be treated by a routine dental cleaning that removes plaque buildup from the gumline. Prophylaxis helps to reduce gum swelling and redness caused by bacteria.

When symptoms indicate that periodontal disease has advanced—the gums have begun to pull away from the teeth or tartar has collected on their roots—the recommended treatment is more intensive.

A dental treatment known as root planing and scaling can be used in cases of gum disease that have progressed beyond gingivitis. Additionally, root planing and scaling can help patients prevent periodontal disease from advancing further. 

A dental treatment known as root planing and scaling can be used in cases of gum disease that have progressed beyond gingivitis.

Gum disease occurs when oral bacteria attack the gums. When performing a root planing and scaling, the dentist clears plaque, which contains those bacteria, from the area between the gums and the roots. If the roots have any rough patches, where bacteria can collect readily, the dentist will also smooth out those areas.

The dentist typically uses local anesthetic during a root planing and scaling to make the procedure more comfortable for the patient. Although the process is not very painful, some patients also choose sedation for additional peace of mind.

Patients with certain conditions, such as those with a suppressed immune system, may need to take a course of antibiotics prior to the procedure. This is a preventive measure to avoid the spread of infection throughout the body.

Taking good care of your gums and the rest of your mouth is essential if you want to avoid a recurrence of gum disease. Be sure to brush twice a day for at least two minutes each session. Daily flossing, with proper technique, is also a must for the fight against gum disease. Work with your our Irving dental team to develop a home oral hygiene regimen that will reduce your likelihood of a relapse.

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