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Gum disease treatment in Ballwin MO

If you are struggling with gum disease, contact your Ballwin Family Dentist today.

Scaling & Root Planing in Ballwin MO

With the wide variety of dental procedures available, there are a couple that are more common than others which form the foundation of our basic treatment, but they are absolutely pivotal to your oral health. Scaling and root planing can help keep your mouth healthy, especially if you're trying to reduce the effects of gum disease. We must remember, it is not just about brushing our teeth to keep them white and healthy. If we neglect our gum tissue, by not brushing it, flossing, and checking for potential issues, this could result in further problems down the line, such as gum disease. With more than 64 million people in the USA living with periodontal disease, it is important to have regular check-ups with your dentist, but also have scaling and root planing as part of your regular check-up procedure.

Periodontal Disease Explained

When plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth, this will result in bacteria that can produce acid, which over time, can erode enamel, which will create cavities that can hide bacteria and food residue. This bacteria that builds up near the gum line can cause the gums to appear swollen, red, and may bleed.

Other symptoms include teeth feeling like they are loose or shifting, deep pockets between your teeth and the gums, as well as bad breath. You may think the symptoms are slight, and won't affect your overall oral health. While these can occur during the early stages of gum disease, as the stages of the disease progress, you may need to check and see if you are running the risk for long-term gum disease. The two main stages of gum disease are:


Some of the symptoms, like bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, are common and gingivitis can come from numerous causes, including health conditions like diabetes. But gingivitis can clear up between 10 and 14 days if treated quickly.

Periodontal Disease

If gingivitis goes untreated, it can progress to gum disease. The symptoms become more frequent, but you may also notice your teeth starting to wobble as the jawbone and supporting gums are not able to support the teeth.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is a deep-cleaning procedure performed under local anesthetic, where Dr. Postol scrapes the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. He also smooths out the rough spots on the tooth root, which removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. As the gums are sealed back over the teeth, this will prevent plaque and bacteria from spreading underneath the teeth, directly to the bone. If left untreated, plaque and gum disease can result in a deterioration of the jawbone.

What Are the Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing?

There are a number of reasons many patients consider scaling and root planing as part of their treatment.

Healthy Teeth

Gums can begin to recede, which increases the risks of gum disease. As the gums recede, the bacteria are able to infiltrate into the gaps. The body's natural response is to start the inflammation process. This is why gums become red and sore. But over time, the inflammation starts to destroy the gum tissue.

To Reduce Bad Breath

Commonly known as halitosis, bacteria can burrow below the gum line, which can be an eternal source of social anxiety. As bacteria finds its way below the gum line, having scaling and root planing as part of your regular treatment can clear away any plaque, resulting in cleaner and fresher breath.

It Improves Your Smile

Having root planing and scaling means you could get rid of slight staining on your teeth. If you drink a lot of liquids that stain your teeth, like coffee, you could benefit from scaling and root planing to improve your smile.

A Healthier Body

Gum disease does not just affect the mouth. Gum disease could be linked to other health issues, including heart attacks and strokes. By scaling and root planing, you are effectively keeping the gums free of harmful plaque, which is less likely to seep into the bloodstream.

What Is the Procedure?

The process begins by numbing the area using a local anesthetic. Using a special instrument, Dr. Postol will gently scrape away any tartar or plaque deposits. Once this is completed, the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, smoothed, and repaired if necessary. The procedure may be completed in a single appointment, but depending on the individual, and the extent of the damage, it may require several scaling and root planing sessions.

As soon as the procedure is finished, and the anesthetic wears off, you may feel your gums are a little sore. However, within a few days, you will feel your gums get stronger and healthier. It's important to note that, within the first few days, as the inflammation disappears, the surface of the root may be more exposed. This is a temporary thing, but it may also highlight spaces between the teeth before it bonds to the gum. You may also notice some bleeding while brushing your teeth, but, again, this is only temporary.

In rare instances, it is important to note some patients develop a slight fever. However, these can be reduced through over-the-counter medication. In addition, practicing good oral hygiene will help you in the months (and years) after a scaling and root planing.

Are There Any Risks?

It is very rare, but the process of scaling and root planing may introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. This is why, as part of the consultation process, you should explain if you have any long-term health conditions. Or if you are taking any medications that impact your immune system.

Dental scaling and root planing are simple procedures that can make a massive difference to your oral health. If you are experiencing any symptoms of periodontal disease, we are able to answer all of your questions and point you in the right direction. If you are ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol for gum disease treatment, be sure to contact us. Gum disease is incredibly common, but it doesn't have to be something you need to live with.

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