How Can Scaling and Root Planing Treat Gum Disease?

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Healthy teeth need healthy gum tissue. Receding gums are when the gum tissue pulls back from the tooth's surface, exposing the roots. A receding gumline causes patients to experience symptoms, such as swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, and, in severe cases, painful discomfort. Gum recession is also one of the leading periodontal disease symptoms, outside of swollen, tender, and red gums. Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a nonsurgical gum disease treatment that removes harmful plaque and tartar buildup from the gumline, where bacteria can thrive and cause long-term damage to a person's oral health.

This blog discusses how scaling and root planing therapy can protect your smile and manage gum disease. Read on to find out more, or feel free to contact Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA to schedule a dental appointment with one of our doctors.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a severe infection that damages gum tissue and can destroy the jawbone. Gum disease is common and treatable when caught in the early stage. The leading cause is usually poor oral hygiene, leading to tooth loss if left untreated. It has also been linked to other health conditions, such as heart disease, oral cancers, and diabetes. Common symptoms of gum disease are red, tender, and swollen gums, eventually causing periodontal pockets and gum recession.

What causes your gums to recede?

Gum recession can be caused by inflammation, poor oral health, and gum disease. Some men and women may also be more susceptible to this issue. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place. Gum disease is generally the leading cause of receding gums. However, other reasons for this dental issue occurring are:

  • Poor oral hygiene due to inadequate brushing and flossing
  • Aggressive or abrasive brushing
  • Misaligned bites or crooked teeth causing pressure on gum tissue when teeth don't line up
  • Hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, or even menopause
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Tobacco use or smoking

Gum disease treatment with scaling and root planing

Healthy gums fit tight around the crown or visible part of the teeth. A receding gumline causes the gums to pull away, exposing the roots underneath. The roots do not have a protective enamel coating, like the tooth's surface. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, a thorough dental exam with x-rays will determine the depths of periodontal pockets. If the pockets are more than three millimeters, scaling and root planing therapy may be the next step. Scaling is part of a deep cleaning process where hardened plaque and tartar buildup are removed above and below the gumline. The second portion is the root planing, where the teeth' roots are smoothed out to help the gum tissue reattach during the healing process.

Periodontal disease treatment near me and dental help in State College, PA

Gingivitis, or the early stage of gum disease, can be treated by stepping up your oral hygiene routine at home and getting a professional dental cleaning. Scaling and root planing is another treatment option to hinder this oral infection from progressing. If periodontal disease symptoms worsen, patients may have to consider more invasive dental treatments, such as bone grafting, laser gum surgery, or periodontal pocket reduction. When gum disease is diagnosed and treated early on, nonsurgical scaling and root planing treatment can help address it. To learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our dental experts, contact Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.