Is A Scaling And Root Planing Right For You?

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Dentists have a variety of tools at their disposal to help keep your mouth free from gum disease. One of the most commonly performed procedures is a scaling and root planing. The two-part treatment can help reduce the chances that you have gum disease and be key in protecting your dental health in other ways. If your dentist has recommended a scaling and root planing, here is what you need to know.   

What Does a Scaling and Root Planing Do? 

Gum disease usually develops as a result of plaque on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that can cause inflammation in your gums. The inflammation can push your gums to separate from your teeth. When this happens, the bacteria gets further into the space created and can eventually cause you to suffer more serious dental problems, such as tooth loss.  

Scaling and root planing can help prevent this. The scaling helps to remove the plaque from your teeth. In essence, it is a deep cleaning for your teeth. Once the plaque has been removed, the root planing is used to smooth the roots of your teeth and the gums are reattached. As a result, there is no longer a space for bacteria to hide.  

What Can You Expect During and After? 

To perform the procedure, your dentist might administer a local anesthesia. The anesthesia is typically given to patients who have increased gum sensitivity. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, it could take more than one visit to the dentist for him or her to complete the scaling and root planing.  

Following the procedure, you could have some sensitivity that lasts a few days. A desensitizing toothpaste can help with the recovery. If the sensitivity continues beyond a few days, talk to your dentist.  

It is possible that you will be prescribed an antiseptic mouth rinse to help prevent infection and to help with the recovery from the procedure. Your dentist will follow up with you throughout the course of the recovery. The recovery period can vary based on how in-depth the treatment was.  

What Can You Do? 

It is important that you continue to practice good dental care after the scaling and root planing. Instead of using a medium or firm toothbrush, try using a soft brush until your gums have healed. You also need to brush after each meal to keep the chances of infection to a minimum.  

In addition to this, you should avoid tobacco products until your gums have healed. Tobacco can slow the recovery process.