Scaling and Root Planing
To understand Scaling and Root Planning, we first need to understand Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease simply means gum disease. This is most commonly the result of infrequent dental cleanings, or ineffective brushing and flossing techniques. Gum disease is present when the gums are infected, and bleeding occurs.
Bleeding is a direct result of a build up of calcified plaque (calculus) below the gum line. When plaque has had the opportunity to accumulate, the minerals in your saliva combine with the plaque and cause calcification to take place. This build up irritates surrounding gum tissue, and leads to the infection referred to as periodontitis or Periodontal Disease.
As the infection progresses, a vertical space is created between the teeth and gums where even more calculus accumulates beneath the gums. Deterioration of the gum tissue continues.
Your dental hygienist, or dentist can assess the health of your gums by measuring the space between your teeth and gums with a periodontal probe. If the measurements are 4mm and above with bleeding, you may have periodontal disease. Calculus build up and bone loss are also detectable on x-rays, which is another reason routine radiographic examinations are important for your oral health.