At your routine dental check-up, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral health exam. During this visit, both your teeth and gums will be carefully inspected. We do this because plaque build-up on your teeth can lead to gum inflammation. Left unremoved, this swelling can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. This forms pockets that are great hiding places for plaque, bacteria, and leftover food particles. If you have periodontal pockets that are deeper than 3 mm, that is a telltale sign of gum disease.
Once plaque accumulates in those pockets, a standard cleaning will not do. Also, if this bacteria-laden substance is not cleared away, you may suffer from tooth or bone loss. Therefore, daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleanings are crucial.
Like many oral health conditions, the sooner gum disease is detected and treated, the better. Keeping up with regularly scheduled exams & cleanings allows your dentist to monitor your mouth health. If gingivitis is detected, you may be advised to be more diligent about brushing and flossing properly. In the early stages, gum disease is reversible. But once the pockets deepen beyond 3 mm, the situation cannot be cured. Then, your dentist in Sugarland, TX may recommend scaling & root planing to manage the problem. This type of deep cleaning will keep bacteria out and the disease under control.
Deep intense cleaning usually requires several appointments. This is because the procedure is done in parts, one section at a time.
During your scaling, all plaque and tartar are removed both above and far below the gumline. This process is more extensive than routine teeth cleaning. Root planing involves smoothing out and disinfecting the roots. As a result, they can heal and reattach to the gums. Also, it is harder for plaque and bacteria to adhere to a smooth surface. Since both procedures require your dentist to dig down to the root, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area.
After scaling and root planing, you may experience pain or discomfort for several days. Also, your teeth may be very sensitive to both hot and cold foods and beverages. To prevent infection, an antibiotic and mouth rinse may be prescribed.