General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267
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Scaling, Root Planing, and You

Woman having mouth inspected by dentist

Periodontitis is a serious condition that needs immediate treatment to prevent damage to your oral tissues. Gums, teeth, and jawbones are all susceptible to damage when it goes untreated, and root planing and scaling are often the first line of defense against serious periodontitis. This procedure aims to eliminate plaque and tartar from below the gumline, giving your oral tissues a chance to heal and recover. To learn more about how root planing and scaling can help protect your teeth against severe periodontitis, keep reading below!

Information About Periodontitis

When gingivitis goes untreated, it creates the opportunity for the bacteria that cause plaque and tartar to work their way beneath the gums. From here, they are able to attack the roots of your teeth, your gums, and even your jawbone. Inflamed gums that have pulled away from the teeth are one sure sign that periodontitis has set up shop on your teeth. As time goes on, the bacteria are able to destroy gum, decay teeth, and spread the infection into your dental pulp. Without proper care, these conditions can even become life-threatening as there’s a risk the infection will get into your bloodstream.

Patients who experience periodontitis often have the following factors at play:

  • Irregular Oral Hygiene Habits – Inconsistent care of your teeth provides plaque and tartar a chance to build up.
  • Tobacco Use – All forms of tobacco use contribute to the advance of periodontitis.
  • Unhealthy Diets – Poor diets, especially those involving high levels of sugar, impact your oral health.
  • Poorly Aligned Teeth – Teeth that are out of their intended alignment provides spaces for bacteria, plaque, and tartar to hide.
  • High Levels of Consistent Stress – Periodontitis has been shown to be aggravated by increased stress due, in part, to the impact of stress on the immune system.

What’s Involved In Root Planing and Scaling?

Planing and scaling refer to two procedures that are used in tandem to eliminate the presence of tartar and plaque from your teeth while simultaneously providing some protection against the return of periodontitis. The process generally begins with the administration of a local anesthetic before the work is done. Even with this local anesthetic, some tenderness during the procedure is to be expected. The scaling process is done with a metal hook that allows the dentist to effectively remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Tissue that has become damaged by bacterial growth is removed as part of the planing step, along with the surface of the root being smoothed to prevent bacteria from reattaching.

If you have additional questions about this procedure or are wondering if it can help you improve your oral health, contact Dr. Kevin Speer at Oak Grove Dental Center today. Together with his team of experts in Milwaukee, OR, he’s been helping his community fight periodontitis through regular dental treatment. Regardless of if you’re looking for a new dentist or its just time to schedule your next appointment, our staff is ready to accept your call and get you back to the dentist’s office.

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