Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

  Contact : 1234 19th Street NW Suite 604 | Call us: 202.296.7714

All Posts in Category: Scaling and Root Planing

What You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease and Treatment Options

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tooth’s structures. These include the ligaments, gums, bone and tissues that are necessary for good oral health. Bleeding and swollen gums are early signs of gums that have been infected with bacteria. According to a study by researchers at the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) performed in 1999, about half of Americans over the age of 30 experience bleeding gums. What’s even more surprising is the fact that many people think this occurrence is normal.

Stages of Gum Disease

In fact, the presence of bleeding and swollen gums is a sign that you could have the first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis. This is caused by a buildup of plaque that occurs at the gum line. Plaque is a sticky substance that can form on the teeth. If plaque isn’t removed regularly, the body’s immune system releases substances that are an attempt to oust the bacteria. This reaction from your body is what causes the bleeding and swollen gums that mark gingivitis. It’s at this earliest stage that gum disease can most easily be reversed.

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease. It is at this stage that the bones, tissues and fibers that support your teeth are damaged. Periodontitis is marked by pockets that form below the gum line. Though gum disease cannot be reversed at this stage, there is much that a dentist can do for a patient with periodontitis. Improved oral care at home performed by the patient, as well as specialized dental treatment, can often help reduce further damage.

The final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. It is at this late stage that the other, supporting structures of the teeth are damaged. These bones, ligaments and fibers are destroyed which can lead to your teeth becoming loose or shifting in your mouth. Not only can this adversely affect your bite, it can also require that those teeth be removed.

Treatments for Periodontal Disease

For people who have gingivitis, there is still hope of reversing the disease. With good daily oral care at home in the form of proper brushing and flossing — as well as regular professional dental cleanings — gingivitis can be reversed.

Once gum disease reaches the periodontitis stage, though, professional intervention is necessary in order to save the teeth. Scaling and root planing is a treatment that is performed at the dentist office to scrape and remove the tartar and plaque from the root surfaces and the teeth. Afterward, these surfaces are smoothed to remove any roughness that can provide a welcoming place for bacteria to settle and flourish. Scaling and root planing is a procedure that could take more than one dentist visit to finish. Eventually, the gums heal and then reattach to the clean surfaces of your teeth.

There are other treatments available for advanced gum disease. Have you had a regular cleaning at Dupont Dental lately? Contact us today to make an appointment and to obtain an evaluation of your oral health!

Read More
scaling and root planing effectiveness

Taking Advantage of Scaling and Root Planing Effectiveness

Dentists conduct root planing and scaling procedures to treat cases of gum disease before it can do significant damage to your oral health. Take a few minutes to learn why scaling and root planing is such an effective dental treatment.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is essentially the deep cleaning of the area below the gum line to combat gum disease. Your dentist may recommend the procedure if your mouth shows early indications of gum disease.

What to Expect

Your dentist or dental hygienist may perform the cleaning. Depending on the condition of your mouth, it may take multiple visits to the dentist office for the procedure to be completed. During the scaling part of the cleaning, all of the traces of tartar, plaque, and bacterial toxins will be scaled from surfaces of your teeth and their roots. During the root planing portion of the procedure, the rough areas on the roots’ surfaces will be carefully smoothed away to make it more difficult for plaque, tartar, and bacteria to attach themselves beneath the gum line. This also allows the gums to reattach to the roots more firmly.

Is Root Planing Necessary?

Gums that are healthy will fit snugly around your teeth. However, if substances like bacteria, plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate under and around your gums, they can damage the tissues supporting your teeth, creating pockets around your teeth and an environment where gum disease can develop.

Scaling and root planing is the most effective non-surgical procedure a dentist can use to treat gum disease. If the disease is detected while it is in its early stages and has not yet damaged the structures below the gum line, a simple professional cleaning will suffice. However, if the pockets between your teeth and gums have grown too deep, a scaling and root planing will be necessary. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the deep cleaning is particularly useful to patients who suffer from chronic periodontitis, or gum disease that has advanced past the gingivitis stage.

Your dentist may recommend that you undergo a scaling and root planing if either of the following conditions exists:

  • Your gums have begun to pull away from the teeth.
  • There is tartar present on the roots of your teeth.

Scaling and Root Planing Before And After

You will see and feel a marked difference in the conditions of your gums after you have undergone the procedure. The area that was treated may be sore to the touch for almost a week. Depending on how extensive the treatment was and the location in the mouth where the procedure was conducted, you may also experience bleeding, swelling and discomfort.

During a follow-up visit, your dentist will examine your gums to determine whether they are healing as they should be and will evaluate the condition of the pockets near the roots. If the pockets are getting smaller and the gum tissue has returned to pinkish color is adhering firmly to the roots of your teeth, no additional treatment may be necessary.

Read More