Plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth, which can create a great place for bacteria to grow and multiply. This bacterial growth can cause irritation to your gums, which can lead to worse issues like bleeding of the gums while brushing, flossing, or eating. These are the symptoms of early-stage gum disease. Dr. Mays can help identify these issues and other symptoms that point towards gum disease. When in the early stages, gum disease can be solved by a deep professional cleaning method, called scaling and root planing. If gum disease is not caught and cared for in the early stages, it can progress, causing the structure of the teeth to break down.
What is scaling and root planing?
Scaling and root planing are procedures to address and hopefully eradicate early gum disease. Scaling is a cleaning process that removes plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar from your teeth and root surfaces. Root planing will smooth the root surface of the tooth to eliminate bacteria from adhering to the root. When you are suffering from gum disease, your gum pockets get deeper, which can allow tartar to deposit itself below the gumline. This can lead to more severe types of gum disease and deterioration of the teeth and other structures of the mouth. Scaling and root planing will help keep your mouth healthy and disease-free. A local anesthetic will be used to provide a more comfortable procedure.
A toothbrush cannot remove all the plaque and tartar from your teeth, so it is important to visit your dentist often to have this process done during your regular cleanings. If bi-annual dental cleanings are consistently missed, then scaling and root planing may be necessary to get the teeth properly cleaned.
What other methods does Dr. Mays use?
Dr. Mays also offers Arestin, which is usually used in conjunction with scaling and root planing treatment. Arestin is a locally applied antibiotic, aimed at killing the bacteria that cause gum disease. It’s placed at the site of gum disease, and remains in your gum pocket for an extended amount of time, allowing the medication to penetrate and be as effective as possible.
What do I do after scaling and root planing have been done?
Following scaling and root planing treatment, you may feel some discomfort. Avoid hot or cold foods to avoid further pain or irritation. Some bleeding is normal. After Arestin, avoid flossing or using cleaning methods that work in between your teeth on the affected teeth for 7-10 days. This allows the Arestin enough time to do its job. Be gentle when brushing. Saltwater can be used to clean the affected areas.