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Teeth Scaling & Root PlaningSimple methods for fighting gum disease and eliminating trapped plaque.
Remove plaque buildup and help the roots of your teeth stay attached to your gums.

Scaling & Root Planing in Southfield, MI

If you’re worried about gum disease or you’re experiencing persistently bad breath, loose teeth, and receding gums, then you need to speak to an experienced dentist. These problems can be signs of serious health concerns like gum disease. Thankfully, there are professional treatment options available. At Michigan Gum Docs, one of the primary ways we address gum disease is with root planing and teeth scaling.

Scaling and root planing are also known as “deep cleaning,” and you may already be familiar with parts of the process. For example, dentists use a special half-hook-shaped instrument (called—you guessed it—a “scaler”) to scrape away plaque buildup near the gumline. You’ve likely already experienced this during one of your annual dental visits without realizing it! Keep reading to learn more about this treatment and how it promotes overall oral health.

When Do I Need Teeth Scaling?

Scaling is most necessary when you’re experiencing gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is indicated by inflammation of gum tissue, loosening of the teeth, pain when chewing, bad breath, and other related symptoms that are often best diagnosed by a dentist.

Scaling is a deep cleaning technique that addresses plaque buildup issues at and below the gumline. Plaque is a type of persistent bacteria we all have growing in our mouth and on our teeth, but when excessive plaque is allowed to accumulate, it can irritate and inflame the gums, causing them to pull away from your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay and other severe health and nutrition problems.

When this issue is caught early enough, a deep cleaning can prevent structural damage to the tooth and resolve the problem. It’s part of why regular dental visits are so important!

Benefits of Scaling & Planing

Tooth scaling and root planing may sound unnecessary or uncomfortable, but they are simple, vital treatments to prevent tooth decay and the need for other, more intense dental procedures. Some of the major benefits include:

  • Reducing issues with halitosis
  • Improving your ability to chew comfortably
  • Preventing gums from receding
  • Smoothing out the surface of your teeth
  • Treating uncomfortable gum pockets

What to Expect During Root Planing

Root planing is directly related to tooth scaling, but it is focused on removing the buildup of plaque and tartar (plaque combined with minerals that have hardened on the teeth) below the gumline. With the same tools used for scaling, your dentist can carefully push aside gum tissue to access the surface of the roots of your teeth. Then, they use those tools to clear away the plaque and tartar buildup.

If you’re experiencing gum disease and it has become a severe condition, your dentist may choose to inject antibiotics into receded pockets of gum tissue. This should help reduce gum inflammation caused by bacterial plaque buildup and improve the overall health of your mouth and teeth.

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Your questions answered.

Scaling and Root Planing FAQs

Because plaque is a type of bacteria that grows in our mouths on a daily basis, it’s important to remove it with regular brushing and flossing. If we fail to do this, it can bond with minerals on the surface of our teeth and harden into tartar, which can’t be removed with a toothbrush, regular toothpicks, or floss. Excessive plaque and tartar buildup lead to gum irritation and inflammation because our cells don’t like to be exposed to high amounts of bacteria.

Tartar buildup is a combination of hardened plaque and minerals. It requires special tools to safely remove it without damaging your teeth or injuring the surrounding gum tissue. Your dental professionals have the proper equipment and training to remove all the tartar buildup.

No, these procedures should not be painful. If you’re in the late stages of gum disease, you may experience some discomfort due to your gums already being inflamed and irritated, but these treatments are designed to address and alleviate those issues in the long run. It’s better to risk a little bit of controlled discomfort now than painful tooth decay and more intensive procedures in the long run.

Schedule Your Deep Cleaning Appointment

Michigan Gum Docs is your home for safe, thorough dental care. We work as carefully and thoroughly as possible to minimize your discomfort and maximize the benefits of regular dental care.

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