Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, is a dental therapy designed to eliminate tartar buildup below the gum line and control the symptoms of mild to moderate gum disease. Dr. Jin Ha Joung at Ridgewood Dental Associates is a board-certified prosthodontist and a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He can diagnose periodontal disease and determine the best treatment option for you. Our team can perform a non-surgical scaling and root planing treatment at our Ridgewood, NJ, practice to address gum disease and improve overall health.
The Importance of Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the gums, and if left untreated, can lead to a variety of serious oral health issues, including tooth loss. Dental plaque along the gum line is the main cause of periodontal disease. This soft, sticky film contains millions of bacteria which produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel and infect the gums. Over time, the plaque buildup creates pockets of soft tissue around the tooth roots.
As the bacteria flourish in the pockets between the gums and teeth, patients may experience the symptoms such as:
- Red and inflamed gums
- Gum sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chronic bad breath
The infection is actually carried in the bloodstream and can affect other body systems too. Diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and other serious health conditions are all associated with periodontal disease. For these reasons, early treatment is critical to protecting both your oral and overall health.
Planning Your Treatment
If you are experiencing gum disease, or suspect you are, Dr. Joung will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of the damage. This process will involve measuring the depths of the pockets around each tooth.
Based on this information, Dr. Joung will determine if you have mild, moderate, or advanced periodontal disease and recommend the most appropriate therapy. Patients with mild or moderate periodontal disease may receive a scaling and root planing therapy, also called deep cleaning therapy. For more severe cases, you may require periodontal surgery.
What to Expect during a Deep Cleaning
We will first administer a local anesthetic to numb your gums and ensure your comfort. Throughout the procedure, tartar and plaque will be removed from the pockets below and at the gum line. A combination of hand scalers and ultrasonic instruments will be used to clean the root surfaces of the teeth.
Scaling and root planning is a relatively quick and non-invasive procedure that can effectively manage gum disease.
After bacteria is removed, the tooth roots will be smoothed out to prevent future plaque buildup. Most patients report little to no discomfort after finishing a scaling and root planing treatment. However, your gums may be a bit tender for a few days.
The Benefits of Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planning is a relatively quick and non-invasive procedure that can effectively manage gum disease. Keep in mind that gum disease can only be managed and not cured. A scaling and root planing treatment can help you overcome the symptoms of periodontal disease, including swollen gums and bad breath. The treatment also halts the disease in its tracks before it does further damage to the tissues that support your teeth.
Maintaining Healthy Gums
Patients recovering from periodontal disease may need professional cleanings three to four times a year to ensure heightened bacteria levels do not return. Additionally, we will advise you on an at-home oral hygiene routine to keep bacteria levels and plaque buildup at bay.
Protect Your Overall Wellbeing
If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, a scaling and root planing treatment can restore your oral health. Call us today at (201) 652-2474 or reach out to us online to schedule an examination with Dr. Joung.