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Do You Need Root Planing and Scaling?

Although gum disease is defined as an inflammation of gum tissue, its effects are not simply confined to the gums. When left to spread, gum disease can have detrimental consequences on the rest of the mouth, including nearby teeth and bone. Advanced gum disease may even result in tooth or bone loss, requiring oral surgery to restore a full smile. Rather than letting your gum disease go unchecked, consider the benefits of preventative treatment. Namely, root planing and scaling is an effective way to restore the health of your gums. If you suspect you may need professional help in maintaining your periodontal health, take a moment to learn more about the root planing and scaling procedure at our Jefferson City dental office.

What Is Root Planing and Scaling?

Also known as a deep cleaning, root planing and scaling is a preventative treatment for gum disease. Specifically, it cleans out bacteria and infected tissue from between the gums and roots of teeth, where infection is most likely to spread into surrounding tooth and bone tissue. In addition to cleaning this area, the roots are made smooth via a planing tool, which discourages plaque from accumulating there in the future. Antibiotics are often used as well to ensure that tissues heal properly.

In essence, a deep cleaning is very similar to a regular professional cleaning, but takes place below the gum line where the roots are especially prone to infection. Although local anesthesia may be used to prevent discomfort, a deep cleaning is non-invasive and non-surgical, leaving the gums to heal on their own and reattach to roots.

The Deep Cleaning Procedure

Patients who undergo a deep cleaning can expect a relatively simple procedure with negligible risks. In just one appointment, the following steps will be taken:

  • If pockets of infection are deep or the gums are not already loose, local anesthesia may be used to prevent discomfort during treatment
  • A scaling tool will be used in between the gums and teeth, which will clean out pockets of infected tissue. Like a regular cleaning, plaque and tartar will also be removed from the gums and teeth
  • The roots of the teeth will be made smooth via a planing tool, which gently contours rough patches of enamel
  • Antibiotic fibers may be placed under the gums as well, which will help the tissues recover and prevent future infection

Although the gums may be sore for a brief period after treatment, they will be able to properly recover and reattach to adjacent teeth. With proper hygiene at home, most patients can satisfactorily control or eliminate their gum disease after treatment.

Candidates for a Deep Cleaning

Because a deep cleaning is non-surgical, most patients are able to undergo the procedure with little to no risk. Rather than identifying who can have a deep cleaning, it is more prudent to determine who needs to. To that end, we recommend root planing and scaling to patients who exhibit signs of progressive gum disease that has already created pockets of infection below the gum line. Common signs of gum disease include:

  • Sore gums
  • Reddened or swollen gums
  • Gums that have begun to pull away from teeth
  • A receding gum line
  • Sensitive gums
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath

Of course, not every instance of gum disease warrants professional treatment. The best candidates for a deep cleaning are those who exhibit some or all of the above symptoms, whose gums and roots are visibly jeopardized by infection, and who cannot reduce their disease through regular hygiene habits. For a better idea of whether you may benefit from a deep cleaning, schedule an exam or consultation with your dentist. With timely and appropriate treatment, you can avoid more serious problems in the future.

Schedule Your Next Exam

The best way to catch gum disease early is through regularly scheduled exams and cleanings. If you have not seen your dentist recently or are concerned about a possible problem, contact our office to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Grundstrom.



Our Address

Central Dental Care

2022 William Street,
Jefferson City,
Missouri  65109  USA

573-634-4414

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