Why Scaling and Root Planing is Crucial for Patients With Chronic Periodontitis

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Gum disease is a common and frequently underestimated threat, which develops gradually and sometimes imperceptibly. The more advanced form, known as periodontitis (or periodontal disease), affects 47.2% of American adults over 30. And, if left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the gums, teeth, and jaw.

Periodontitis may also wreak havoc throughout the body. Numerous studies have found potential links between periodontal disease and respiratory disorders, cardiovascular events like heart attacks and stroke, and some forms of dementia.

So, for healthy gums, strong teeth, and a vibrant smile, contact us at Premier Periodontics for a consultation. Or visit us at one of our seven locations in the state of Washington, in Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond.

Signs and symptoms

The earliest stages of gum disease may present no noticeable signs or symptoms, so regular checkups are vital to maintaining oral hygiene. As gum disease advances, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding, swollen, red, or tender gums

  • Receding gums

  • Spaces forming between teeth

  • Difficult or painful chewing

  • Persistent bad breath

How does periodontitis develop?

The first stage is a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis, which causes irritation and inflammation of the gingiva, or gums. It’s primarily caused by inadequate oral care and poor cleaning habits, which allow the buildup of plaque, a sticky, bacterial film that envelops the teeth. And what you eat, the bacteria eat: they feed on sugars and produce acids that wear down the tooth’s protective enamel and cause decay.

Plaque also irritates and inflames the gums, forcing them to recede and leave “pockets,” or gaps between the teeth and gumline. If plaque is left to accumulate, it spreads into these spaces below the gumline and hardens into tartar. Tartar is not only harder to remove, but it also harbors and protects germs.

Periodontitis causes damage throughout the body

Without intervention, gingivitis develops into periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that damages the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Periodontitis loosens teeth by attacking the fibers that hold them in place and is the leading cause of tooth loss. If allowed to advance, it can destroy the jawbone as well. Additionally, multiple studies have linked it to other serious health problems, including heart and respiratory disease, and even some forms of dementia.

Treatment may require a simple two-step procedure known as scaling and root planing (SRP). The first step is scaling. Our expert periodontists use a manual scaler (hook-like instrument), an ultrasonic device, or both, to loosen and remove tartar from your teeth, below the gumline, and in the pockets.

In the second step, root planing, the periodontist carefully reaches down to smooth and thoroughly clean the tooth roots. Planing decreases inflammation and provides a smooth surface so the gums can heal and fully reattach themselves to the teeth.

Post-root canal care

Following the procedure, our experienced team will tailor a plan based on your specific needs and periodontal history to prevent future problems and ensure a bright, long-term outlook. This plan may include specialized instructions for at-home care and other considerations, such as suggestions to avoid certain foods, drinks, or other detrimental products and practices.

The dental experts at Premier Periodontics can help you choose the best treatment options to attain the dazzling, radiant smile you deserve. So, contact us today to schedule a consultation! We also welcome you to visit us at one of our Washington-based offices, located in Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.