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Montreal Smiles®

Keeping the Gums Healthy: Root Planing and Scaling

By Roni S. Berbari, DMD on December 10, 2014

A woman gazing upward and smiling, showing off her healthy gums after scaling and root planing treatmentsIf you are over the age of 18 and you do not have gum disease, then congratulations - you have beaten the odds. Gum disease, clinically known as periodontal disease, is actually the most common disease worldwide, affecting the majority of adults to varying degrees. In fact, many people who have it do not realize that they do until gum or tooth pain forces them to seek treatment at their local restorative dentistry practice.

Fortunately, gum disease is also one of the more easily prevented and treated oral health problems if caught in its earliest stages. Two of the most commonly performed and highly effective procedures used to combat gum disease are root planing and scaling. At our cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice in Montreal, root planing and scaling are available to help patients maintain excellent periodontal health and a radiant, beautiful smile.

Even if you feel that your gums are perfectly healthy, it is important that you visit the dentist at least twice a year for thorough oral exams and professional screenings. In its earliest stages, periodontal disease often does not produce noticeable symptoms. By the time symptoms become apparent, the disease may already have progressed into its more severe form, periodontitis. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

What is periodontal disease?

Your mouth is naturally filled with acids. When these acids combine with mucus, saliva, food particles, and the acids found in foods and beverages, it forms a substance called plaque, which can build up on the surfaces of your teeth. While you are able to remove much of this plaque through regular brushing and flossing, some plaque hides beyond your reach. This plaque eventually hardens into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist.

Both plaque and tartar contain bacteria that can cause harm to your teeth, gums, and other tissues of the mouth. When these bacteria cause the gums to become infected and inflamed, the result is gum disease. In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis and is relatively easily treated. In its latter stages, periodontitis, the condition is more difficult to treat and can cause tooth loss and gum recession.

What are root planing and scaling?

Root planing and scaling are generally performed together as part of a treatment called “deep cleaning.” Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tarter from the gum line and from within gum pockets through the use of a special instrument. Root planing involves the use of another instrument to make the surfaces of the teeth below the gum line smooth so that bacteria are less likely to take refuge there and the gums will more easily reattach snugly. Deep cleaning is virtually pain free, requiring no more than a local anesthetic in most cases.

Learn More about Root Planing and Scaling

Root planing and scaling are effective, pain-free treatments that can help you to maintain the health of your gums. To learn more about these treatments, please contact Montreal Smiles today.

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