Root Planing and Scaling

Root planning is a very effective method to detect periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gums, ligaments and in extreme case, the jaw bone. The first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can usually be prevented and reversed by brushing and adequate cleaning. A dental probe is used to measure the pockets in between your teeth and your gums. These pockets are usually formed when plaque is not effectively removed from the teeth and gums forming a hard layer in between the teeth and the gums. Even if you are brushing and cleaning your teeth every day, tartar can prevent you from cleaning properly.

Scaling is the removal of tartar. Scaling is performed by your dentist or hygienist with an instrument called a scaler. This will facilitate your cleaning at home as well as to prevent gingivitis.

Gum disease stages:

  • Gingivitis: Common symptoms are; sore and bleeding gums, bad breath and unpleasant taste in the mouth. Gingivitis is caused normally by poor oral hygiene, and it’s aggravated by the periodontal bacteria. This stage does not cause bone loss. Gingivitis can be alleviated and treated with good hygiene (adequate brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups).
  • Periodontitis: The second stage is Periodontitis. This disease is caused by the formation of tartar and bacteria underneath the gum line. Eventually, the gum starts receding and creating pockets around the tooth. Bacteria will secrete toxins inside these pockets irritating the remaining gum and promoting bone breakdown as a natural defense response of the body. In severe cases, tooth extraction might be necessary to preserve the integrity of the bone.

Who is more prone to gum disease?

  • Diabetics
  • Smokers
  • Poor oral hygiene individuals.
  • Hormonal changes (usually in girls and women)
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Medication and Illnesses (Condition like Aids and cancer along with their respective medications can affect the gums).