138 : Scale and Root Planing Aftercare
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. Gum disease typically develops from the existence of bacterial plaque on the teeth and gums. This plaque is a colorless and sticky film that is continuously developing on the teeth. If plaque does not get removed, it will turn into a harder substance called calculus in under two days. Calculus can actually only be fully removed via a professional cleaning. And, if this calculus forms underneath the gum-line on the tooth root, it can make any plaque very difficult to remove, which can then cause periodontal disease and issues.
As gum disease develops, pockets are formed as gums become looser and separate from the teeth. Eventually these pockets deepen and can cause various forms of periodontal disease including gingivitis, as well as mild, moderate, and advanced periodontitis.
Gum Disease Treatment
After establishing your overall periodontal health, a periodontist can decipher the best treatment options for restoring your gums and stopping any disease from progressing. Treatments vary according to the specific issues. Often scaling and root planing are recommended. Sometimes if the disease is advanced a gum and bone restoration treatment will be recommended.
Scaling and Root Planing and Aftercare
Most people that develop gum disease will need a special kind of deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. This treatment is able to remove tartar and plaque from underneath the gum line. This removal inhibits growth of destructive bacteria, and allows the gums to reattach to the tooth’s root. Because this treatment happens underneath the gum line, it is usually necessary for a local anesthetic to be used for numbing the gums. Most people with gum disease will already have sensitivity in the area, so desensitizing a patient’s gums is helpful for reducing pain and further sensitivity. Dental scaling and root planing treatments usually require anywhere from two to four visits to realized the full treatment. Minor soreness and sensitivity in the days following your appointments can be expected with the scaling and root planing treatment.
And in the days following the treatment there can be some mild bleeding and/or swelling of the gums, as well. Often times a dentist will recommend a desensitizing toothpaste to use for brushing to help calm any desensitize. In some cases a prescription mouthwash is a part of the after treatment as well. The prescription mouthwash is good for general soothing, as well as keeping the gums clean and free of infection.
After the scaling procedure it is necessary to maintain a regimented and careful brush and flossing routine in order to keep any plaque from growing again in the areas and pockets that have just been cleaned.
A follow up appointment will be scheduled so that the dentist can measure the depth of the gum pockets and compare. Ideally the depth will be much less if the treatment has been successful. A thorough oral exam will also be done to ensure that full healing is underway.
After this initial follow up appointment, after care will include regular dental checks ups and cleanings to make sure that the gum disease is not returning.