Visiting your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams is an excellent way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Yet, people sometimes skip appointments when life gets busy.
During that time between appointments, you could develop gum disease. When that happens, dentists frequently recommend root scaling and planing to help restore gums back to health. But what exactly is it and how long does it take to heal? Let’s take a look!
What Is Root Scaling?
Root scaling is considered deep cleaning. It involves using a special tool to gently scrape away plaque and tartar that builds up on your teeth and in the pockets along the gum line. Since the procedure goes deeper than a general teeth cleaning, your dentist might use special numbing agents to keep you comfortable during the procedure
What Is Root Planing?
Once the scaling is done, your dentist will then use a tool to smooth the surface of the tooth root where it sits beneath the gum line. This has the effect of helping your gums to reattach to your teeth. As part of this process, your dentist might also use antimicrobial agents to reduce the amount of bacteria that collects in the gum pockets. It also encourages faster healing.
What Are the Benefits of Root Scaling and Planing?
Allowing gum disease to progress without treatment can lead to deeper pockets, infections, and inflammation that can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Root scaling and planing are designed to halt the process in its tracks by removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your mouth. It also reduces the size of the pockets around your teeth. Additionally, it helps preserve your smile by lowering the risk of tooth, bone, and tissue loss in your mouth.
How Long Does It Take to Heal From Root Scaling and Planing?
Some people experience some initial teeth sensitivity and gum soreness for a few days after the procedure. Your dentist may recommend using a special mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection during the healing period. You might also be encouraged to eat soft foods for a day or two. Most people find that the side effects fade quickly within a couple of days, but you could notice some soreness for up to two weeks. If you find it hard to eat, drink or brush your teeth at any point after the procedure, consult your dentist.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you concerned about your gum health? A consultation at Fennell & Yoxthimer and Associates, DDS, Inc. is the best way to find out if root planing and scaling are necessary to improve your overall oral health. They are happy to walk you through the treatment and answer any questions you may have.
Schedule your initial consultation today by calling our Cincinnati, OH office at 513-631-6600 or by using our online scheduling form.