When Is It Time for Scaling and Root Planing?

It’s easy to tell when it’s time for a routine dental cleaning appointment. On average, most people should attend one at least once every six months. However, periodontal cleaning is a more involved process, with a more direct focus on preventing or stopping the development of gum disease. Also known as scaling and root planing, periodontal cleaning involves cleaning the surfaces of your teeth roots, which are located underneath your gums and are more challenging to access than your teeth’s crowns.

When gingivitis develops

The first and earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and it’s the condition that scaling and root planing can most effectively address. Gingivitis is an infection that results when oral bacteria accumulate underneath your gum line, where your toothbrush and floss can’t remove them. At first, the infection can seem minor, and its symptoms may not be immediately obvious when you look at your smile in the mirror. However, your dentist can likely spot the signs during your routine checkup and cleaning appointment. If you do have gingivitis, then addressing it with scaling and root planing as soon as possible could be the best thing you can do for your smile.

The signs that you need deep cleaning

Your dentist will almost certainly spot gingivitis if it develops before your next visit, but the more time it has, the greater chance that you’ll experience significant gum damage by then. As gingivitis gets worse, you may notice signs such as redness and inflammation in certain areas of your gum tissues, though this may seem slight at first. You might also notice your gums bleeding a little when you brush and floss your teeth. The pressure against your compromised gum tissues can cause them to bleed, even if it doesn’t cause them any discomfort.

How scaling and root planing helps

As soon as gingivitis is detected, the best way to protect your smile is to actively address it by removing the bacteria infecting your gum tissues. Because they have developed underneath your gums, removing these bacteria requires carefully accessing the surfaces of your teeth roots, which is more complex than traditional dental cleaning. The process may take multiple visits to complete, but once your teeth roots are cleaned of oral bacteria, you can successfully manage the disease and allow your healthy gum tissues to heal.

Schedule a periodontal cleaning appointment

Unlike regular dental cleaning, deep cleaning (or scaling and root planing) is only prescribed when you have gingivitis or are at-risk of gum disease development. To schedule an appointment, call Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.