Periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease, is a severe form of gum disease that is treatable but not curable. Essentially, periodontitis occurs when gingivitis goes undiagnosed/untreated over a period of time. From there, pockets of bacteria form in pockets underneath the gums, and these can become infected. Over time, the bacteria in these pockets can erode the bone structures in the jaw, resulting in permanent tooth loss.
Fortunately, treatments for periodontitis exist to help slow down the progression of the disease and possibly prevent permanent tooth loss or other complications. If you've recently been diagnosed with periodontitis at any stage, a root planing and scaling procedure will likely be the first course of treatment recommended by your dentist.
What Is Root Planing and Scaling?
Root planing and scaling is essentially an extremely deep, thorough cleaning of not just the surface of the teeth, but beneath the gum line as well. This procedure is often recommended among those who have recently been diagnosed with periodontitis; the purpose of this procedure is to remove tartar and other build-up from deep beneath the gum line and bacterial pockets to reduce infection and slow down the progression of the disease. This treatment, when combined with routine maintenance cleanings, can truly save a person's smile.
What to Expect from Root Planing & Scaling
If your dentist has scheduled you for a root planing and scaling procedure, there are a few things you need to know. For starters, there's a good chance that the procedure will take place in two separate appointments. This is because your mouth will need to be numbed for the procedure, and most dentists will not want to numb the entire mouth at once and prefer to do one side at a time.
Before the procedure begins, your dentist will inject an anesthetic into the gums to ensure that the side of the mouth being worked on is completely numb. From there, he or she will use either a water pick or manual tools to scrape and remove build-up from the surfaces of the teeth and deep beneath the gum line. You shouldn't feel any pain during the procedure, but there will likely be quite a bit of bleeding due to the bacterial pockets and infection.
Once one side of your mouth has healed, you'll come in to repeat the cleaning on the other side. From there, you and your dentist can continue to work at managing your periodontitis.
To learn more about Periodontitis treatment, contact clinics such as Sun Dental.