Periodontitis (chronic gum disease) is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if your teeth aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can harden into tartar and cause the gum tissue to become inflamed. If left untreated, the gums will begin to pull away from the teeth, leaving deepening pockets where the bacteria can breed.
At that point, not only is it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to remove plaque and tartar with regular brushing and flossing, there’s also a risk of bone and tooth loss. We recommend scaling and root planing for patients diagnosed with periodontitis.
Scaling and root planing is a two-part procedure to treat periodontitis. The scaling portion is when we remove all of the plaque and tartar above and below the gumline, cleaning all the way down to the bottom of the pocket.
We then begins the second phase of treatment, which is root planing. Root planing smooths out the roots of your teeth to help your gums re-attach to them, while keeping bacteria, plaque, and tartar from re-adhering underneath the gumline. The process may take more than one appointment to make sure that your teeth are clean and healthy.
When you see us for followup treatments, they will want to check on the healing of your teeth and gums. In most cases, patients who had red or swollen gums find that the tenderness and bleeding from periodontitis is reduced or completely eliminated. If your gums respond well and remain stable, you won’t need any further treatment.
To schedule a consultation or to ask any questions about scaling and root planing, give us a call at (815) 363-0103 or send us an email.