Tooth Scaling and Root Planing

If you want to have a healthy smile, you need to make sure that your teeth and gums stay clean. That means brushing twice a day and flossing daily.


Your dentist can remove the plaque that builds up between your teeth and gums with a process called tooth scaling. It’s a deep cleaning and can be done manually or with an ultrasonic device.

Plaque Buildup

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth and can lead to serious oral health problems. It also is linked to other diseases, such as heart disease.

Everyone experiences plaque buildup from time to time, but if it becomes too thick or stays in places where you can’t reach with brushing and flossing, you may need a deep cleaning known as tooth scaling. This procedure removes excess plaque, which can help you maintain healthy gums and teeth.

During the dental scaling process, your dentist or hygienist will numb the gums and tooth roots with local anesthesia, which helps minimize any discomfort that can result from the process. Then, they will use special tools to get rid of the hardened deposits of plaque on the surfaces of your teeth and on the roots.

After the process, your teeth will be much cleaner and you’ll likely experience less sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. You’ll also find it easier to keep up with good oral hygiene practices and will be more comfortable with chewing and smiling.

Scaling can help prevent gum disease and the complications it can cause. It can also help remove unseen plaque that may not be visible to the naked eye, but can still contribute to gum disease and other health issues.

It also can protect your arteries from plaque buildup, which can cause a dangerous condition called atherosclerosis and heart disease. When the plaque inside your arteries hardens and becomes blocked, blood flow is inhibited, starving organs of oxygen and nutrients.

The exact cause of atherosclerosis is unknown, but there are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing this condition. These include genetics, high cholesterol levels, certain medical conditions and unhealthy lifestyle habits.

If you’re at risk of atherosclerosis, you can reduce your chances by practicing good heart health habits and visiting your doctor for a screening for diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions. You can also schedule regular dental appointments to check for crooked teeth and other factors that can contribute to plaque buildup and oral health problems.

Gum Disease

Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a common dental treatment that helps treat gingivitis and other early stages of gum disease. These treatments can help reverse the progression of gum disease, and stop it from causing further damage to your teeth and bone.

Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss. It occurs when bacteria build up in the mouth and causes inflammation that can eventually destroy the tissue surrounding your teeth. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and it is characterized by red, swollen or bleeding gums that bleed easily when you brush your teeth.

However, gum disease can progress quickly to a severe form of periodontitis. When this happens, your dentist may recommend more advanced treatments to prevent bone and tooth loss.

The first step in treating gingivitis is a thorough dental cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from your teeth. This is often the simplest and least painful way to improve your oral health.

After a professional cleaning, your dentist will check to see if you have any areas of gum inflammation that need additional treatment. The next step is a scaling and root planing procedure that gets below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar in places where toothbrushes and floss can’t reach.

A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area of your mouth where the procedure is performed, so there should be little discomfort during the procedure. Some teeth may feel tender or a bit swollen following the procedure, but this is normal and will go away within a few days.

Your dentist or hygienist will then use an ultrasonic device to clean below the gum line and around your roots, smoothing out rough areas of tooth and root surfaces and eliminating plaque and tartar. This will also encourage the reattachment of gum tissue to your teeth.

During the follow-up visit, your dentist or hygienist will measure the depth of the pockets that were cleaned and see if they have decreased in size. They will also examine your gums to see if they’ve healed well and whether you need to make additional dental visits to maintain periodontal health.

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that can be caused by many things. The most common cause is enamel erosion, which happens when your tooth’s outer layer, called the enamel, wears down and exposes your tooth’s interior, known as the dentin.

Enamel is the natural protection of your teeth, and it is extremely important to maintain it through brushing and flossing. It is also essential to eat the right foods, drink plenty of water, and get your teeth cleaned regularly by your dentist.

If you’re experiencing sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist to have it checked out. They will do a thorough examination to see what is causing the sensitivity and will make a treatment plan for you.

Typically, sensitive teeth are related to tooth erosion or gum recession, which is a sign of poor oral hygiene. It’s also possible to experience sensitivity after dental procedures, like fillings, cleanings, or root canals.

The pain usually goes away after a few weeks, but you should let your dentist know if it doesn’t go away or becomes worse. If you’re experiencing a lot of sensitivity, it may be a sign of an infection or other serious issue that should be treated immediately.

There are several at-home treatments that your dentist can suggest, such as desensitizing toothpaste or a fluoride mouth rinse. They can also apply an in-office treatment to remineralize your teeth and help prevent further sensitivity.

Another at-home option is a special toothpaste that contains silver diamine fluoride (SDF), which helps strengthen your enamel and lessen sensitivity. SDF has been used in Asia for years and is gaining popularity in the United States.

Ultimately, the best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to maintain good oral health habits and schedule regular cleanings at Beacon Dental Health. This will help to remove any plaque or tartar buildup that can lead to a loss of protective enamel.

If your tooth sensitivity is related to acid erosion, your dentist will suggest taking a prescription-grade fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste. In addition, they may recommend a topical application of SDF on the affected tooth surface.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are one of the first signs that you may have a dental health problem. They are a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis, both of which can lead to tooth loss if they are not treated.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth that can damage and inflame gum tissue. They can also eat away at the teeth and bone that support them. Symptoms include swelling, bleeding gums, and loose teeth.

The good news is that many of these issues can be prevented and treated with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and checkups. These routine procedures will prevent plaque and tartar buildup from forming on the teeth, which can make your gums bleed.

If you notice that your gums are bleeding a lot after you brush or floss, be sure to take it seriously. It could be a sign of gum disease and an indication that it is time to visit our Chapel Hill dentist office for a routine exam and cleaning.

Some people have a higher risk of developing bleeding gums because of certain health conditions, such as pregnancy or vitamin deficiencies. These problems can make your immune system less effective and can cause gingivitis to bleed more easily.

A healthy diet can also help to avoid bleeding gums. You should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to get the nutrients you need to fight off gum disease.

In addition to improving your diet, it is important to see your dentist for regular exams and cleanings to keep plaque from building up. These visits can also prevent the progression of gum disease to advanced stages, which can lead to tooth loss.

After a dental cleaning, it is normal to experience some sensitivity and bleeding of the teeth for about three to five days after treatment. However, it is a good idea to brush your teeth carefully and gently so that you can remove as much of the plaque as possible.

If your gums bleed after you have had a cleaning, it is likely that your dentist performed a deep clean to remove harmful bacteria and tartar. This process is called scaling and root planing. The scaling process removes the infection from your teeth and gums, while the root planing procedure smooths down the surface of the roots so that they reattach properly to the teeth.