When is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

scaling and root planing Lubbock, TX

Scaling and root planing is a more thorough method of dental cleaning that can stop gum disease in its tracks. The procedure allows the dentist to clean plaque below the gum line so that gums can reattach to the tooth’s roots. Knowing the symptoms and when the treatment might be necessary is vital because it can help to prevent gum disease from reaching its advanced stage where scaling and root planing may be required. 

The need for scaling and root planing

The following are symptoms that might indicate a patient needs to undergo scaling and root planing.

Bleeding gums

One of the first indicators of plaque under the gum line is bleeding when brushing or flossing. Even if the bleeding is only minimal, bacteria are already colonizing the plaque deposit under the gum line. Prompt treatment with scaling and root planing helps to remove the plaque. As long as patients maintain good oral hygiene levels, there will be no need to undergo the procedure.

Deep pockets

When a patient visits the office for routine checkups and cleanings, the dentist will use a probe to measure the depth of the tissue surrounding the teeth. Tight pockets are required to hold the tooth roots securely in place. Most dentists will recommend scaling and root planing is the pocket depth is more than five millimeters. Performing the procedure when the gum pocket is only between five or six millimeters can help stop bone tissue and tooth loss.

Gum tissue inflammation

Aside from bleeding, patients may also experience redness and swelling on the gums at the early stages of gingivitis. This is not as severe as an abscess, but it still means bacterial invasion and irritation of the gum tissue. A scaling and root planing procedure can eliminate the deposits and smoothen the tooth roots to prevent plaque and bacteria from gathering in that area in the future.

Visible gum recession

Once the gum pockets form and start to deepen, patients may discover their gum line is shrinking or pulling away from the tooth. Gum recession is certainly a reason to visit the dentist since it is always the result of many worrisome oral health problems. As people age, healthy gums can shrink slightly and is usually not obvious. Therefore, any visible gum recession could mean that pockets are developing around the tooth roots, which will likely result in a need for scaling and root planing.

Bone loss

This is often only discovered via an x-ray. Dentists recommend annual dental x-rays to monitor the condition of the jawbone and teeth roots. If the x-ray scan shows bone loss or separation of the tooth roots and jaw, a patient will benefit from a scaling and root planing procedure.

In conclusion

When exhibiting some early symptoms of gingivitis, patients need to book an appointment with the dentist for an examination. The dentist will check the condition of the tooth and gums, and determine if it is necessary to undergo scaling and root planing. When gum disease is detected in its early stages, treatment is easier and less invasive. Get started today!

Request an appointment here: https://highplainsperio.com or call High Plains Periodontics And Implant Dentistry at (806) 414-3059 for an appointment in our Lubbock office.

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