If your gums are swelling or bleeding, have sensitive or loose teeth, and bad breath that just won’t go away then you need a scaling and/or root planing session.
Scaling, otherwise known as deep cleaning, is the removal of dental plaque. After your meal, the bacteria in your mouth convert sugars and starches from the food you eat into acid. This acid, combined with remaining pieces of food and saliva forms a gooey layer called plaque. If this plaque is not brushed off, it will stick to your teeth and eventually turn into hard calculus with the help of minerals, liquids and protein in your saliva. The hard calculus will no longer be removable with a toothbrush. Fortunately, this is where we come in! With the use of dental equipment this calculus can be scaled off bringing your teeth back to its former glory. It is recommended to have a scaling session at least once a year.
Root planing as the name suggests, involves scaling at the root of the tooth. The tooth root is covered with a thin layer of bonelike connective tissue called cementum, which helps anchor the tooth to the jawbone with the help of the Periodontal Ligament. Root planing is possibly even more crucial than scaling because cementum being softer than enamel is more easily affected by plaque build-up and decay. If the decay does reach the cementum and eats through it, your gums will be compromised resulting in Gingivitis- a condition where your gums will become inflamed and possibly bleed. If left untreated, Gingivitis will develop into Periodontitis, which involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, leading to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.
Research has shown that gum inflammation causing bacteria do not only affect your gums but can actually also travel to other areas throughout your body. These areas include your coronary arteries, the arteries that transport blood in and out of the heart. This could possibly lead to heart disease, stroke, pregnancy problems and many more severe problems especially in patients with a low level of immunity. This has shed light on the importance of the early detection and treatment of periodontal disease and the significance of root planning.
How it’s done
In order to scale and clean your roots our skilled dentists will gently ‘scrape’ off any plaque with an ultrasonic tool or chisel. They may also place antibiotic fibers into the pockets between your teeth and gums. The antibiotic will help speed healing and prevent infection. These fibers will be removed the following week.