Your gum health plays a major role in your overall health, but many adults in the United States have gum disease. However, there are a variety of dental services that can help you recover from gum disease, including dental scaling and root planing. However, many patients might not understand what scaling is and how it can benefit their gum health.
At North View Dental, we understand how uncomfortable gum inflammation can be and how dangerous it can be for the health of teeth. If you have been dealing with gum inflammation recently and you think that you might benefit from dental scaling, but aren’t sure exactly what the service entails, keep reading to learn more.
What is Dental Scaling?
Dental scaling and root planing is a type of deep cleaning that helps to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and beneath your gum line. If plaque is not removed from the teeth frequently enough from your teeth, you might begin to notice your gums becoming inflamed.
Your gums may begin to recede from your teeth as they become inflamed, creating pockets for this plaque to collect. Plaque beneath the gumline is difficult to remove on your own. As it sits on the surface of your tooth, it mineralizes and becomes tartar, which is much harder to remove.
This plaque and tartar build-up can lead to the development of gum disease. As gum disease becomes more advanced, you may begin to experience symptoms of periodontitis. At that point, your dentist may recommend dental scaling to address problems with your gums.
Signs You Need Scaling
There are several signs you should look out for if you believe that you might benefit from dental scaling and root planing. Some of the most common signs that you could benefit from this dental service include:
- Bleeding Gums
- Shrinking Gum Line
- Swollen, Inflamed Gums
- Bone Loss
If you have recently begun to experience gum bleeding or receding gums, you should discuss this with your dentist or hygienist at your next dental cleaning. During this appointment, they will determine the health of your gums and can help you establish a treatment plan.
How is It Different from Dental Cleanings?
During a dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will clean plaque and tartar off of the surface of your teeth up to your gum line. Your dentist will recommend that you schedule dental cleanings at least twice a year to ensure any plaque or tartar formation is addressed before it becomes more significant.
Unlike dental cleanings, dental scaling and root planing appointments provide a deeper cleaning. During these appointments, your hygienist will focus their attention on plaque and tartar in the pockets formed in your gums. These appointments are only recommended to people with advanced forms of gum disease.
Are There Side Effects from Scaling?
Following a dental scaling and root planing appointment, it isn’t uncommon to experience a few side effects. Many patients will experience a bit of discomfort following the procedure. For some patients, this discomfort lasts up to a week. However, it isn’t uncommon for this discomfort to last up to a few weeks.
There are a few things you can do to help alleviate this discomfort. First, consider eating a soft food diet, including soups, potatoes, yogurts, and smoothies while you recover. It might also be a good time to consider adding a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth to your oral health routine.
Adding this toothpaste should help alleviate some pain. You can also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater up to three times a day. This rinse should help to calm any inflammation you might be experiencing while removing any lingering food particles.
Finally, consider taking an over-the-counter pain medication to help alleviate pain. This medication, in conjunction with our other recommendations, should help you feel better more quickly. If, however, you are experiencing a great deal of pain, it is important that you reach out to your trusted dental team as soon as possible for assistance.
How Do You Take Care of Your Teeth after Scalings?
As we mentioned above, it isn’t uncommon to experience some sensitivity following dental scaling and root planing. With this sensitivity in mind, it is important that you take special care of your teeth and gums as they recover. After your dental scaling, follow these steps to ensure a positive recovery:
- Brush Gently: Your gums may be especially sensitive following your dental scaling, so it is important to brush gently. You may notice increased bleeding as you recover. To avoid this, use a soft-bristled brush, and brush in gentle circles.
- Floss Regularly: While you should floss at least once a day to ensure no food particles are trapped between your teeth, you may want to consider flossing more often after dental scaling. This prevents food from getting trapped while your gums recover.
- Swish with Salt Water: As we mentioned above, swishing with salt water is a great way to reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Ensure that you do this at least three times a day to achieve the best results.
- Avoid Snacking When Possible: After your scaling, it is best to avoid snacking when possible. Eating can change the pH of your mouth, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth. If you do snack, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove any leftover food particles.
- Don’t Miss Follow Up Appointments: It is essential that you make it to any follow-up appointments after your scaling. At these appointments, your dentist can ensure that your gums are recovering properly and no additional treatment is required.
Schedule Dental Scaling with North View Dental
If you believe that your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, now is the right time to schedule an appointment with a trusted dental team. At North View Dental, our team has years of experience ensuring your teeth look and feel their very best. No matter what oral health condition you’re dealing with, we’re ready to help you achieve your brightest smile yet. If you want to schedule a scaling or need to speak to our dental team about your current oral health condition, don’t hesitate to contact us today.