Healthy gums are essential to good oral health, and to preventing future tooth loss. But even patients who take good care of their teeth and gums can get a condition called gingivitis, or tartar and plaque buildup along the gum line. The tartar and plaque offer inviting surfaces for bacteria to grow on, which can then lead to more serious periodontal disease, or gum disease.
At the Aesthetic Dental Studio, preventing gum disease is an important part of our oral healthcare philosophy. If you would like to talk to us about treating your gums to stop periodontal disease in its tracks, please schedule an initial gum therapy consultation with our dental team by calling 403-543-4600.
One common way to treat this early indicator of gum disease is with a therapy process called scaling and root planing. With this procedure, a dentist can remove and treat the tartar and calculus (hardened plaque) buildup to reduce inflammation, prevent infection and further damage to gum tissue.
Scaling and root planing can also be used as a first step in treating more advanced cases of gum disease.
What Is Scaling?
Scaling is a non-surgical procedure that removes calcified plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces under the gum line, an area that regular brushing and flossing cannot affect. The process focuses on the area of the tooth along the root, but removes plaque from the crown of the tooth to the root.
What Is Root Planing?
After the scaling procedure, the surface of the tooth can be left rough, especially the tooth’s root. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surface.
This is important for two reasons. First, it speeds the healing of the gum tissue because gums shrink and wrap back around teeth much easier if the surface is smooth. Second, a smooth surface helps keep plaque and tartar from reforming.
Root planing is one of the ways a dentist will try to reduce those “pockets” between the gums and teeth that harbor bacteria.
How Are Scaling and Root Planing Different Than a Regular Cleaning?
With scaling and root planing, a dentist cleans deeper under the gum line and removes more of plaque and tartar than is possible with a regular cleaning. While more complicated than a regular cleaning, scaling and root planing can often still be completed in one visit.
Are your gums bleeding frequently and showing signs of gingivitis? Don’t wait too long to seek treatment. Please contact the Aesthetic Dental Studio by calling 403-543-4600 today to learn more about gum therapy in Calgary, Alberta.