A Nonsurgical Approach to Treating Gum Disease

Dentist in Irving, TX

Gum disease is the body’s response to plaque deposits on the teeth. The bacteria in plaque irritates gum tissue and causes infection, which ultimately compromises both the tooth and the underlying bone.

For patients with mild to moderate periodontal disease, our doctors at Kids and Grownups Dental provide scaling and root planing to eliminate tartar and calculus below the gun line. At our office in Irving, TX, we offer CareCredit®, Lending Club, and Simple Pay to assist patients with any out-of-pocket costs.

Early Detection is Key

Gum disease rarely causes pain or discomfort. Therefore, it is important to watch for other tell-tale signs of the condition. The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which is characterized by red, tender gums. If left untreated, the condition progresses deeper into the gum line, forms pockets around the roots of the teeth, and can lead to bone or tooth loss.

Diagnosing gum disease in the early stages is crucial. By detecting it early on, we can use less invasive treatments to save you time, money, and discomfort.

Diagnosing gum disease in the early stages is crucial.

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

As a nonsurgical treatment, scaling and root planing can:

  • Improve gum health: This treatment flushes out bacteria and infection to reduce inflammation and bleeding.
  • Prevent disease: Scaling and root planing both halts the progression of periodontal disease and fosters healthy teeth and gums.
  • Protect your teeth: This procedure can prevent further bone loss around the teeth and tighten the gum tissue. This can ultimately help you avoid loss of teeth or jaw mobility.
  • Improve your breath: The bacteria that causes gum disease also causes halitosis or bad breath. By eradicating the infection in your gums, you can once again enjoy fresher breath.

Most importantly, scaling and root planing can potentially prevent the need for more invasive treatments like gum grafting and tooth extraction.

Understanding Oral and Whole-Body Health

Research has proven an undeniable link between your oral and whole-body health. If infection is present in the oral cavity, it can travel to the rest of your body via the bloodstream. Individuals with gum disease are thus at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia, and other health problems. Consequently, taking care of your gums is also an investment in your overall health.

What to Expect during Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing diagram
During the first part of the procedure, your doctor will remove any plaque or tartar that has collected around the teeth and tooth roots. 

While scaling and root planing is very similar to a routine dental cleaning, there is one primary difference: the teeth and gums are numbed. Because the infection is deep below the gum line, local anesthesia is necessary so the clinician can reach the problematic areas without causing discomfort.

Once you are comfortable, your doctor or hygienist can remove plaque from your teeth using hand scalers and specialized ultrasonic instruments. Next, the roots of the teeth are smoothed to eliminate potential footholds for future bacteria. Following the procedure, you may experience slight temperature sensitivity and discomfort. However, most patients are able to return to work on the same day.

Periodontal Maintenance

It is important to understand that gum disease is managed, not cured. Scaling and root planing can help decrease bacteria levels to baseline again. However, some individuals are simply more prone to periodontal issues.

After a scaling and root planing, you will need routine cleanings to maintain your progress. While some patients only need a cleaning every six months, others may require more frequent visits. Dr. John Lee will work with you to develop a cleaning schedule appropriate for your situation.

Keep Your Smile Healthy

If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, scaling and root planing can reduce bacteria and keep you on the path to improved oral health. To find out if you are a candidate for this treatment, schedule a consultation at our practice. You can contact us online or call us at (972) 255-4164.

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