Scaling & Root Planing
The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling and/or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventative measure. They are commonly preformed in cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.
Benefits of Treatment
One major benefit of scaling and root planing is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
Finally, scaling and root planing should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Also, superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.