There are plaques you want to get, like MVP of the softball tournament. And there is plaque you don’t want to get, especially under your gums — dental plaque. When you develop dental plaque under your gums, the team at Gentle Dental needs to remove it with root scaling and planing.
Who needs root scaling and planing?
When you come in for your twice-yearly cleanings at Gentle Dental, these involve scaling your teeth. You may not know that term, but that’s what happens when the hygienist takes the dental pick and removes plaque and tartar. These cleanings usually don’t go below the gumline.
But if your home hygiene program has been poor or if you’ve missed a couple cleanings/exams with us, that plaque may have started to sneak its way under your gums. This is the start of the periodontal (gum) disease. If left alone, that plaque under your gums will start to wreak havoc.
Root scaling and planing will now be necessary.
What’s healthy and not?
Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth. But if plaque has developed under your gums, the tissues that support your teeth will begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can have a party. You’ll know this has happened because your breath will reek, your gums will bleed easily, and you’ll be able to see pockets where the gums are pulling away from the plaque on your teeth.
What are root scaling and root planing?
To get rid of that bothersome plaque we need to go under the gums. Root scaling is first. You’ll probably be given some local anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort. Then we use dental picks to go below the gumline and break off any plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits from your teeth and the root surfaces.
After all of that junk is removed, next up is root planing. For this, we smooth all the rough areas on the surface of your tooth roots. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar don’t like smooth surfaces much, so root planing helps keep the bad stuff off, and it allows your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly to your roots.
Home hygiene is important
How can you avoid these gum issues? A good home hygiene routine, along with keeping your twice-yearly exams/cleanings with the team at Gentle Dental is usually enough to keep any plaque from developing under your gums.
Is it time to book your next appointment? Call us at Gentle Dental, (732) 549-5660.