Non-SurgicalTreatments for Early Gum Disease

Scaling & Root Planing

Almost 50% of Americans who are 30 years old or older have periodontitis, and of those who are afflicted, nearly 9% face a severe case of the disease. The good news? There is an effective, non-surgical treatment: scaling and root planning.

What is gum disease?

Bacteria form on teeth and cause a film to develop on enamel surfaces, eventually turning into tartar. And this tarter buildup increases as times goes by. This tarter inflames and infects the gums, shrinking the gums away from the teeth. When this occurs, gaps form which are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. The first sign of periodontitis is gum bleeding, swelling, and redness. And, if left untreated, this damages gums and could even cause teeth to fall out.

What is scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing is a type of deep cleaning. Scaling involves scraping off built-up tarter on the teeth from the top of the teeth to the bottom, below the gumline. Root planing involves removing rough spots which form on the roots of the teeth. The dentist and his dental health professionals do this manually, using handheld instruments or with ultrasonic instruments. 

Risks of Scaling and Root Planing

A patient may experience swollen, painful gums and sensitive teeth for several days following the procedure. And it can even lead to a blood infection since the procedure leads to bleeding gums. To lessen the risk of infection, the dentist will place an antibiotic into the gaps and may also prescribe antiseptic mouth rinse.

What if scaling and root planing don’t work?

Scaling and root planing usually effectively reduce the advancement of gum disease. However, several factors may lessen the effectiveness of the procedure. For example, if a patient smokes or has diabetes, they may experience less success than their non-smoking, diabetes-free peers. If scaling and root planing does not solve the problem, your dentist may need to perform surgery. Surgical options include a soft tissue graft. During the graft, the dentist removes tissue from the roof of the mouth and places it inside the damaged area. Another possible treatment involves applying a substance to a tooth’s root which helps the bone and gums to quickly grow.

About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora

Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.