Improve Your Oral Health with Scaling and Root Planing
Treating gum disease in the early stages can reverse the condition and restore your oral health. Dr. James M. Vlassis offers scaling and root planing at his Fayetteville, NY, dental practice as a non-surgical means of treating mild to moderate gum disease. Also known as deep cleaning, scaling and root planing removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooths root surfaces. This helps inflamed gum tissue reattach to the teeth, as well as prevent future accumulation of these harmful substances and reduce the need for surgical intervention.
Do I Need a Deep Cleaning?
Regular brushing and flossing remove plaque, the sticky bacterial film that constantly develops on the teeth. Even patients with excellent oral hygiene can develop some form of plaque buildup in hard-to-reach areas. Over time, plaque can turn to tartar, a hard yellowish substance that is far more difficult to remove. Plaque and tartar will begin to cause inflammation in the gum tissue unless they are removed. As inflammation becomes worse, these tissues can loosen and pull away from the teeth, creating deeper and deeper pockets.
Generally, if the pockets between your teeth and gums grow to a depth of four millimeters or more, Dr. Vlassis will recommend scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Eliminating this bacterial buildup can allow your gums to reattach to the teeth and resolve many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with gum disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath
- Swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
What Happens during Treatment?
A deep cleaning involves two distinct procedures. The first is scaling. During dental scaling, Dr. Vlassis or a hygienist will use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth both above and below the gum line. If needed, we can use a local anesthetic or provide sedation to make your procedure more comfortable.
As a periodontist, Dr. Vlassis offers a wide range of treatments for gum disease.
Once your teeth are fully clean, we will perform the second stage of treatment. Root planing is a process of smoothing the surface of tooth roots. This procedure allows the gums to reattach properly and also makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar to collect in the future.
What to Expect after a Deep Cleaning
Your gums may feel sensitive or sore for the first few days after scaling and root planing. You may even notice some swelling or bleeding as your gums heal. Dr. Vlassis may recommend using a desensitizing toothpaste or a prescription mouthwash to help with the healing process.
Consistent at-home dental care is essential to maintaining the health of your gums after scaling and root planing. We recommend:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft brush
- Flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet low in simple carbohydrates
- Avoiding tobacco products
You should also attend regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist. Typically, these checkups take place twice a year, but some patients may need more frequent attention. Following these guidelines can help you avoid the need for more extensive periodontal treatment in the future.
Restore Your Oral Health
As a periodontist, Dr. Vlassis offers a wide range of treatments for gum disease. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, we are here to restore your comfort and your oral health. Contact our office online or call (315) 637-0777 today.