First Line of Defense Against Gum Disease

Scaling and root planing is designed to eliminate bacteria-harboring plaque and tartar from below the gum line in patients with mild to moderate gum disease. Dr. James Stein is a respected prosthodontist with over four decades of experience treating gum disease. He and his team of technicians can perform a non-surgical scaling and root planing treatment at his Boston, MA, practice to deliver a healthy smile and improve overall health.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that can spread to adjacent teeth. Because it can spread to the bloodstream, periodontitis can have a cascading effect throughout the body. Heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are some of the most common health conditions associated with untreated periodontal disease.

The primary cause of periodontal disease is dental plaque. This is the soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth over time. It contains millions of bacteria that feed off the sugars in your food and produce acidic waste. Without diligent maintenance, this waste can eat away at the enamel, irritate the gums, and spread to deeper tissues.

Periodontal maintenance is critical to maintaining good oral and overall health.

A number of factors can raise the risk of developing periodontal disease, including:

  • Genetics
  • Medications
  • Poor Diet
  • Hormones
  • Tobacco
  • Teeth grinding
  • Stress

However, no one of these factors necessarily lead to gum disease. Consequently, it is important for patients to attend regular check-ups so that their dentist can keep an eye on your oral health.

Periodontal maintenance is critical to maintaining good oral and overall health.

REcognizing Symptoms

Bacteria often spreads beneath the gum line, where it creates pockets around your tooth roots. While the earliest stages are often asymptomatic, patients may notice signs such as:

If you are experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Stein may recommend scaling and root planing, also known as a deep cleaning.

The Scaling and Root Planing Process

Illustration of how plaque is removed from below the gum line.Before proceeding with treatment, the doctor must first carry out a thorough evaluation of your smile to determine the extent of the damage. One of the most important aspects of this examination is periodontal charting, which measures how deep the pockets around each tooth are. Based on this information, Dr. Stein can determine if you have mild, moderate, or advanced periodontal disease, and recommend the most appropriate therapy.

On the day of your appointment, Dr. Stein will administer a local anesthetic to numb your gums and ensure your comfort during the cleaning. He can then remove tartar and built-up plaque from the pockets along and below the gum line. After cleaning out all of the bacteria, he can then smooth over the tooth roots to eliminate potential footholds for future bacteria colonies. Most patients report little to no discomfort in the days following their procedure.

Maintaining Healthy Gums

Periodontal maintenance is critical to maintaining good oral and overall health. Because gum disease is only managed and never cured, patients recovering from periodontitis typically need professional cleanings three to four times a year to reduce heightened bacteria levels. After your scaling and root planing treatment, Dr. Stein will recommend a cleaning schedule to maintain the health of your gums. Our staff will also advise you on techniques for your at-home oral hygiene routine, to help you maintain your healthy smile.

Schedule Your Examination

If you are experiencing periodontal disease symptoms, a scaling and root planing treatment may be the therapy you need to restore your oral health. Call us today at (617) 227-6076, or reach out to us online to schedule your examination.