Scaling and Root Planing
The other part of deep cleaning is root planing. Our gentle dental hygienist will use a scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar from all surfaces of the tooth, including the root, and then smooth the root surface to collect less tartar. A scaling and root planing procedure usually requires a minimum of two visits as an appointment. A follow-up visit will be necessary to check to see your gums and teeth are getting healthier, and there is no pocket depth.
Tartar Needs to Be Removed
The reason tartar needs to be removed is because your body sees it as a foreign invader. As with any other foreign invader, like a flu bug or an infection, your body’s immune system “sends in the troops” to fight off the infection. There is always a battle in your mouth at all times, and the war is never over. Teeth cleanings help to level the playing field by keeping things in check.
Gum Disease, A Potential Threat
Gum disease develops when tartar buildup gets out of control. Patients with gum disease will experience bleeding and inflamed gums as a result of the immune system trying to attack and eliminate tartar buildup, a foreign invader. While the immune system response is successful at killing off invaders, it comes with a price to pay. During this ‘war’ to fight off invaders, other surrounding areas can be threatened as well. For example, as gum disease progresses, the bone and tissues in your mouth begin to deteriorate.
Immune System & Chronic Activation
Your immune system is meant only to fight off infection for a short period of time. Chronic activation of the immune system means it can get worn out, and it won’t be as strong to fight off an illness. Chronic activation of the immune system can lead to diseases in the rest of your body. That’s why preventing gum disease is important to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia. At a certain stage, this damage is irreversible, so prevention is the best way to maintain overall health and keep beautiful teeth for a lifetime. Deep cleanings are essential to this prevention.
Deep Cleaning Appointment
During the diagnosis part of your dental visit the hygienist will take x-rays to determine the health of your gums. From the x-rays, the dental hygienist will inspect the level of bone, measure the gums around each tooth, and will be able to tell if an infection is present. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), normal, healthy pockets will be no more than 3 millimeters deep. If the pockets are greater than 5 millimeters, your dentist might prescribe a deep scaling and root planing appointment with the dental hygienist.
Make sure to keep your teeth healthy and your immune system strong, by regular dental hygiene habits. If it has been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, it’s time to schedule a trip to your Idaho Falls dentist. Give us a call today at 208-552-0775!