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5 Signs You Need Root Planing or Scaling

Nice Teeth
Even if you grew up hearing all about the dangers of gum disease, you will probably overlook the first few early symptoms that your gums need some extra attention. Waiting too long to get a preventative treatment like scaling and root planing results in serious tooth and bone damage and makes it harder to reverse the existing damage.

But how can you know it's time to see your dentist for a deeper cleaning and not just the routine dental treatment? Check your teeth and gums daily for these signs of emergent gum disease so you can schedule root planing and scale procedures for maximum benefit.

1. Receding Gums

First, watch out for any one tooth or a group of teeth that is more exposed. Gum recession is usually gradual and easy to miss at first. You may notice that a band of bright white enamel is noticeable around the edges of some teeth or that certain teeth appear longer or larger than before.

2. Bleeding Gum Tissue

Whether your gums recede or not, bleeding from between the gum tissue and your teeth is never a good sign. It's commonly caused by plaque forming below the gum line and irritating the tissue and harboring bacteria. Even if your gums only bleed when you brush or floss, it's still an indicator that you likely need scaling or root planing.

Timely deep cleaning can prevent mild gum bleeding from growing into a more serious problem. If you wait until your gums bleed on their own or when you eat, it may be too late to prevent or reverse root damage and tooth loss.

3. Pockets Around Teeth

Listen to your dental hygienist and dentist if they mention that you're developing pockets around the roots of your teeth. The hygienist will probe the gum tissue around each tooth to make sure it is still tight and supportive around the roots.

When minor pockets start getting deeper and nearing the 4 mm mark, you definitely need a proactive deep cleaning. You may want to at least undergo a basic scaling treatment when you have smaller pockets around your teeth to prevent them from getting any deeper.

4. Persistent Bad Breath

There are many causes of bad breath that keeps returning, ranging from dietary choices to hereditary conditions. When halitosis comes back even after brushing and flossing, there's a good chance it's coming from bacteria growing under your gum line.

Don't rush to assume that you have gum disease if bad breath is your only symptom. Bad breath is much more likely to be a problem if you're experiencing it along with at least one of the other symptoms. Your dentist can determine the exact reason you keep experiencing halitosis and recommend a solution.

5. Red and Swollen Gums

Finally, track the color and condition of your gums each time you brush your teeth or floss. Puffiness and redness around the edges of the gums indicate irritation, and the most common cause of irritation is rough plaque forming on the roots of the teeth.

Root planing can reverse this swelling and redness with minimal side effects. But even scaling reduces inflammation when it's done as early as possible. Don't wait to see if the symptoms go away on their own when your dentist can treat it directly before your gum disease progresses to periodontitis.

Whenever you so much as suspect that you're developing the warning signs of gum disease, reach out for dental help immediately to the team here at Family Dentistry of Dunn Avenue. Schedule an appointment soon and let us check that your gums are healthy and free from disease.