We sometimes hear this question from patients who are new to our practice, or haven’t been in to see us for a while. Bleeding gums can be a sign of periodontal disease, sometimes referred to as gum disease, and is nothing to be taken lightly. If Dr. Milewski has diagnosed you with periodontal disease, you may need more than your professional cleaning at our office in Medina, Ohio. Dr. Milewski may say you need root planning and scaling. But what is Root Planing and Scaling?
First, let’s look at the cause of periodontal disease.
You’ve heard of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gum. Plaque that is not removed can cause your gums to become irritated, leading to inflammation, bleeding and infection. Plaque can harden or calcify into tartar, or calculus, and allow even more plaque to form. Your gums may become more and more red, swollen and may bleed. This is gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease. The only way to remove this damaging tartar is by having your teeth cleaned at the dental office on a regular basis and to be diligent with your brushing and flossing. If the plaque and calculus is not removed, it can build up below your gum line and periodontitis can progress, which can damage your gums and the bones supporting your teeth. If this happens, one of the treatments Dr. Milewski may recommend is Root Planing and Scaling.
What Happens During Root Planing and Scaling?
You may have heard people refer to root planing and scaling as a periodontal or “deep” cleaning. Many patients prefer to have a little anesthetic for this procedure, to reduce any discomfort. Using an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments, plaque and tartar are removed from deep within the gum pockets. The tooth’s roots are then smoothed, or planed. This helps the surrounding tissue to heal, and the pockets to shrink. The smoother surface of the tooth makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate in the future. This treatment may be done at one or several visits with one of our hygienists, Kathy and Kim. Several months later, this procedure is followed up with another visit where we see how your gums are healing and if the pockets are decreasing. Bacteria cannot easily attach to smooth surfaces, so vigilant brushing and flossing—combined with more frequent visits to Dr. Milewski and his team—will minimize the return of disease-causing plaque and calculus.
Call Our Office Today
Periodontal disease can have serious implications for your overall health and will not go away by itself. To schedule a dental check-up, call the office of Dr. Milewski in Medina, OH, today. We also conveniently serve patients in Akron, Brunswick, Middleburg Heights, Wadsworth, Norton, Summit County, Cuyahoga County, Wayne County and Lorain County.