Periodontal Disease Can Include:

  • Gum enlargement due to inflammation caused by plaque (bacteria)
  • Loss of bone surrounding the teeth

The goal of scaling and root planing is to reduce gum inflammation or decrease pocket depths where bone-destroying bacteria live.

This non-surgical treatment can stop further loss of bone, though it does not cure the condition. Bone does not grow back around the teeth, but the tissue ligaments may reattach to the tooth to decrease pocket depths.

Our skilled dental hygienists can remove hard deposits (tartar) and plaque that has accumulated on the roots of the teeth, and then plane surfaces smooth. Ultrasonic instruments and/or lasers can be used to break loose the tartar, plus destroy and flush out bacteria.

What to Expect in the First Few Days:

  • Gum soreness is normal, but not pain. Please do the following if needed:
    • Take ibuprofen or your usual pain reliever
    • Rinse with salt water (1 tsp in a glass of warm water)
    • Tooth and gum tonic will be recommended to decrease bacteria, so gums heal faster and shrink more quickly.

Roots may be temporarily sensitive to cold following the scaling and root planing procedure. Because of this, our dentists recommend:

  • Use desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne or other brands for sensitive teeth
  • Use fluoride rinses or toothpaste (Clinpro)

Teeth may feel mobile or more mobile but should tighten as inflammation improves and gingival tissues heal.

Oral antibiotics may be prescribed; this has been shown to wipe out populations of bacteria that thrive in the tissues around the teeth and are not accessible by planing the roots. It is important to finish the entire prescription given to you by our West MI dentists.

What to Expect Over the Next Year:

  • Maintenance cleanings will be carried out every 3 months. Dental studies and our experience show that patients who follow a 3-month routine are much more likely to keep stable periodontal health.
  • As your gum tissues heal, the “pockets” we discussed should decrease.
  • We will evaluate the current health of your gum tissue and bone at each visit.

You will be given additional tools for your home care such as a proxy brush or sulca brush.

Get Quality Dental Care

Our West Michigan family dentists provide quality dental care to patients of all ages. Call one of our five convenient MI Smiles Dental locations below to schedule an appointment for yourself or a family member.