Taking the Scare Out of Dental Scaling

Man with a tooacheWhat is Dental Scaling? Sounds rather medieval, right? Dental scaling might as well refer to an ancient reptile known for its large, tough hide.

But it’s actually a nonsurgical, noninvasive method for treating gum disease. Since roughly 64.7 million Americans 30 years or older experience Periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease, it’s important to know you options, especially if you hope to avoid more intense procedures.

The Lowdown on Gum Disease

Periodontal disease causes inflammation of the soft and hard structures supporting teeth, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. You’ve probably seen the commercial for mouthwash to prevent gingivitis. That’s the early stage, which includes swollen and red gums. If left untreated, it eventually advances into periodontitis, destroying the supporting tissue and allowing the gums to pull away from the teeth.

Periodontal Treatments

We all can agree that the later stage doesn’t sound pleasant. To prevent that from occurring, we offer several noninvasive methods to save your smile, which brings us back to dental scaling.

The sticky, bacteria-filled plaque that often leads to gum disease tends to hangout below the gum line. Scaling is like the more advanced form of a dental cleaning, where we clean below the gum line.  There are two ways to tackle this problem:

  • We use hand-held instruments to manually remove the plaque, or scale. Since it’s below the gum line, we have to work by touch, feeling for rough spots that indicate tartar buildup.
  • Or, we use an ultrasonic instrument with a vibrating metal tip to clear the area. Water sprays to keep the tip cool and remove any unpleasant taste.

Both processes may be necessary, depending on the situation and location of the buildup.

Another option, if needed, is root planing, which involves cleaning a tooth’s infected root.

If these procedures fail to deliver enough relief, then, we turn to surgical options. But don’t let it progress that far. Here is what you can do to prevent gum disease:

  • Quit or don’t take up smoking, which increases your risk.
  • Cover the basics, like brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily.
  • An antibacterial mouth rinse offers extra protection from plaque.
  • Follow a nutritional diet to ensure you receive vital minerals and vitamins.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes.

About Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans:

Wager-Evans Dental proudly serves Reno,NV and has since 1976. Dr. Wager, Dr. Evans, and the entire team at Wager-Evans Dental encourage you to schedule an appointment today for a dental checkup and cleaning. Call 775-829-7700 today!