What is root planing and why is it important?

What is root planing and why is it important?

Periodontitis (or periodontal disease) is the inflammation and destruction of the underlying supporting tissues of the teeth (the periodontium). It is caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth (bacteria), leading to inflammation of the gums. It represents the most advanced stage of gum disease and can lead to progressive destruction of the tissue around the teeth, resulting in tooth mobility and even tooth loss. To prevent the development of this condition, it’s important to maintain good dental hygiene, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, either scaling or root planing.

Scaling is a simple cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and the upper part of the inside of the gums.

Root planing, on the other hand, is a more thorough cleaning procedure that requires anesthesia, and removes tartar from inside the gums of the teeth, in the periodontal pockets that form as a result of the progression of periodontitis.

Periodontal pockets appear when tartar builds up between the gum and the root of the tooth, causing the tissue to loosen from the tooth and create a pocket where more bacteria can penetrate. These pockets represent an advanced sign of periodontal disease, and root planing helps to soften the surface of the teeth beneath the gums. This will make it more difficult for plaque and tartar to adhere, and allows the gums to potentially reattach to the teeth, thereby reducing periodontal pockets.

Periodontitis is a debilitating disease that can have many consequences, including tooth loss. That’s why it’s so important to take good care of your teeth and, if deemed necessary by your dentist, perform root planing to stop or slow the progression of the disease. To maintain healthy gums after root planing, or to reduce the risk of needing periodontal treatment, it is essential to maintain impeccable dental hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

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