Wilson, Greenville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Raleigh & nearby areas

Tue, 09/19/2017

At Boles, Ham, Dixon & Boles, DDS, we’re obviously concerned with protecting your teeth and gums from all oral health conditions. Any lingering disease or other condition can pose a significant threat to both your oral health and, in the long run, your overall level of health and well-being.

Still, there’s no doubt that one of our highest priorities is the prevention and, if necessary, treatment of periodontal disease. Gum disease afflicts millions of Americans, not to mention many of our Goldsboro-area patients.

And gum disease is exceptionally serious. If left untreated, periodontal disease can ravage your gums and damage the very structural integrity of your teeth. That’s why you simply can’t leave gum disease untreated, and that’s why our dentists always urge those with gum disease to move quickly and decisively to address the condition.

Treating Periodontal Disease with Root Planing and Scaling

Let’s begin with this important point: the best possible treatment for gum disease is to practice sound, comprehensive dental hygiene so you don’t find yourself suffering from the condition in the first place. Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss every day. And visit our dentists at least twice a year for a cleaning and examination. Do this, and you’ll keep your gums healthy.

However, the fact is that people do come down with gum disease and if you do, be assured there is treatment available to you. At our office, we treat periodontal disease with root planing and scaling.

More commonly known as “deep cleaning,” root planing and scaling is non-invasive. It can treat gum disease and prevent the spread of the infection. However, it’s not always a permanent solution.

What is Root Planing and Scaling?

When your mouth is healthy, your gums adhere tightly to your teeth. However, plaque – a sticky, filmy layer of bacteria – is constantly forming on your teeth. Careful brushing and flossing can remove it quickly, but if not removed, the bacteria in the plaque cause your gums to become inflamed. Once this happens, your gums pull away from your teeth, creating pockets which trap plaque.

If this plaque is allowed to remain in these gum pockets, bone and tooth loss can result. Once this occurs, our dentists will need to take special steps to treat your gum disease.

Root planing and scaling works like this:

  • First, we will likely have to administer a local anesthetic in order to eliminate any potential discomfort
  • Then, using either a manual tool or an ultrasonic device, we will “scale” your teeth, meaning we remove all of the plaque and tartar from both above and below your gum line.
  • Finally, we move on to root planing. The root is the portion of your tooth that is embedded in your jaw. The planing procedures smooth out your root, removing any rough portions – this makes it more difficult for plaque to adhere to the tooth root under the gum line.

If successful, planing and scaling thoroughly cleanse your teeth, removing any existing plaque and preventing it from spreading any further. Your gums should return to normal and re-attach to your teeth as tightly as normal.

After Your Periodontal Disease Treatment

Root planing and scaling is a non-invasive procedure, and there’s not much of a recovery process required. You can expect your teeth and gums to be a bit more sensitive for a week or so after your procedure.

Our dentists will provide you with clear, thorough instructions to follow after your procedure. It’s important that you follow these instructions to the letter, including any dietary restrictions we might recommend. And you will need to return to our office afterward for a follow-up appointment.

In order to prevent gum disease from developing again, you must commit to maintaining optimal levels of oral health. This means brushing and flossing, but it also means no longer putting off trips to the dentist. It means perhaps cutting down on sugary, acidic foods and beverages. And it means keeping a close eye on your gums to check for any re-occurrence of gum disease.

If, in the months after your planing and scaling procedure, your gums become swollen and tender or if they start bleeding again, schedule an appointment with our dentists as soon as possible. We’ll examine your teeth and gums to determine the next steps, if such steps are necessary.

If you’re a resident of the Goldsboro, North Carolina area and you or your family wants to discuss options for treating periodontal disease, please call Boles, Ham, Dixon & Boles, DDS today at 252-291-2892.