Scaling and Root Planing
The Early Signs Of Gingivitis

When plaque and tartar build up on the surface of the teeth and gums, bacteria can develop. When left untreated, bacteria can begin to thrive and spread, resulting in far more serious concerns. Bleeding gums, inflammation, and redness are only a few of the symptoms of gingivitis – the beginning stage of gum disease. Other signs can include a receding gum line and hard mineral deposits, or tartar, built up on the roots of the teeth. Most adults have varying degrees of gum disease. 


Beginning Treatment Early

As soon as gingivitis is noticed, treatment needs to begin. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more serious stages of the disease, such as periodontitis. The more severe the disease becomes, the more difficult it will be to stop.

Treatments for gingivitis are generally fairly simple because the disease has not yet spread to the actual bone. Your dentist or dental hygienist will clean teeth through a process of scaling and polishing. Depending on the severity of your condition, an antiseptic mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine may be recommended. You may also receive additional training on how to properly brush and floss your teeth to help prevent future problems.


Root Planing And Scaling 

One of the most effective treatments for gum disease is root planing and scaling. This process can thoroughly clean teeth and certain areas of the gums that may otherwise go untreated. Because the treatment often goes near the root of the teeth, use of a local anesthetic is not uncommon during the procedure. 

Some dentists choose to use an ultrasonic tool instead of the scraping method used in traditional root planing and scaling. Many patients find this method more comfortable than the scraping method, although both are effective. 


What Happens After This Treatment Process?

Apart from the occasional scraping sound, scaling and root planing usually does not result in pain or other forms of discomfort. If a local anesthetic was used, however, you may experience numbness following treatment. This numbness is generally only felt in certain areas of the lips and gums and should go away after a few hours.  

Once the numbness in your mouth goes away, you should be able to feel a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of your teeth and gums. Regular dental care can prevent the progression of gum disease and can greatly reduce your chances of developing gum problems in the future. 
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