What is Deep Cleaning (Deep Scaling & Root Planing)?
If plaque and tartar is left on the teeth, as we mentioned before, it provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria irritate the gums, which means that they bleed more easily. You may notice this if you are brushing your teeth, or eating, and sometimes your gums may bleed a bit. This is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth by scaling and polishing them. They may also recommend an antiseptic mouthwash containing chlorhexidine and show you how to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Most adults have some degree of gum disease.
Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is an inflammatory disease that results in the destruction of tooth-supporting bone. The gum inflammation is caused mainly by the accumulation of bacterial plaque below the gumline.
Bacterial plaque is a soft, sticky, toxic mass which attaches to teeth along and underneath the gumline. If the plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing, it hardens and becomes tartar. As the tartar develops, it forms a cohesive bond with the root surface of the tooth. Tartar can only be removed by the dentist or hygienist through Scaling and Root Planing.
Unremoved bacterial irritants and toxins cause the gums to become inflamed and tender. The tooth-supporting bone responds to this inflammation by simply "melting away". Left untreated, the resulting bone loss will leave behind pockets in the gum around the affected teeth. These pockets will harbor still more plaque and tartar in an area that is inaccessible to the patient. The progress of the disease will usually accelerate. Periodontal disease is often painless in it's early and moderate stages.
Scaling & Root Planing refers to the meticulous polishing of the root surface and cleaning of the surrounding tissues, establishing an environment necessary for healing. In many instances, SRP is the only procedure necessary. However, in more advanced cases additional treatments may be necessary to eliminate periodontal pockets. For your comfort, sometimes a local anesthetic is used during the procedure.
If you have any questions about how Scaling & Root Planing can help you preserve your beautiful smile, please ask the doctor or hygienist.
Prevention and early detection are important when it comes to taking care of your mouth and your teeth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gingival inflammation, eventual bone loss, and possibly tooth loss if not treated in a timely manner. Likewise unchecked or untreated tooth decay can lead to tooth pain, loss of tooth structure, possible root canal, or even tooth loss. A thorough examination and regular checkups by your dentist are recommended twice a year.
One of the best ways to clean the sides of your teeth is with dental floss. Floss is inexpensive, readily available and easy to use. It is an excellent tool in the fight against dental decay and periodontal disease. There are many types of dental floss available. Speak with your dentist or hygienist regarding the best floss for your particular set of dental needs. Floss is an excellent tool in the fight against dental decay and periodontal disease.
Hard bristles were once recommended but now are thought to be too abrasive to the teeth and gums. It now is suggested that a soft, rounded-end nylon bristle brush be used . Be sure to discard brushes when the bristles are bent or frayed or every three to four months.