Gum Disease

What is it?

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease, or periodontal disease.

What causes it?

Gum disease is caused by a bacteria called plaque. Although a little bit of plaque is common, if it is not cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. This causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque can get trapped in these pockets and can no longer be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to both bone and tooth loss.

What can I expect during the procedure?

Scaling is when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar from your gumline, cleaning down to the bottom of the pocket. We will then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots in order to help your gums reattach to your teeth. This process may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.

What can I expect after the procedure?

After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Some patients’ gums may feel swollen, tender, and may bleed easily.

To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, Dr. Merlino may prescribe medication or mouth rinse.

We will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.

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