Gum disease is often the result of a sticky film of bacteria known as plaque. If not cleaned well, plaque can cause gum inflammation where your gums will start retracting and form pockets. Often, plaque builds up in these pockets and is incredibly difficult to remove with your regular brushing and flossing. If this continues and no professional assistance is sought, this plaque accumulation can eventually cause tooth and bone loss.
If detected early, professional cleaning can help considerably. If the pockets between your gums are deep, you need root planing and scaling. Root planing and scaling is one of the most effective treatments for gum diseases before it worsens. This method thoroughly cleans the pockets in your gums and the teeth and down to your roots.
There are two parts of this form of deep cleaning. During the scaling procedure, your dentist will remove the tartar and plaque above and below the gum line, and all the way down to the root of the pockets. The procedure is followed by root planing where the roots of your teeth are smoothed out to help your gums reattach to the teeth. Root planing and scaling can take multiple visits to complete the entire cleaning process and may require local anesthesia.
Your dentist will use manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments or a combination of both for dental scaling. Root planing will involve a comprehensive scaling of the surface of the root to minimize inflammation of the gum tissue. Your dentist will scale the root surface to eliminate rough areas, removing biofilm development and plaque.
Root planing and scaling needs to be backed up with a proper oral hygiene routine to prevent your gum disease from progressing or recurring. So, make sure you contact your dentist for regular checkups to prevent gum disease or for early detection in case you suffer from it already.