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Scaling and Root Planing: A Non-surgical Solution for Gum Disease


Gum disease can have a negative impact on your oral and overall health. Scaling and root planing is a highly effective non-surgical treatment that deeply cleans the gums, teeth, and roots to maintain a healthy smile. The Registered Dental Hygienists at Taylor Dental can perform your scaling and root planing at their Pensacola, FL, dental practice to significantly improve your periodontal health. 

An illustration of the scaling and root planing procedure.
Scaling and root planing deep cleans the teeth using special dental instruments

What Causes Gum Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, which can spread to adjacent teeth negatively affecting your oral and overall health. Since the infection is carried in the bloodstream, it can have damaging effects throughout the body. Periodontal issues have been linked to several health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Dental plaque is a primary cause of periodontal disease. Other risk factors include:

  • Genetics: Heredity is one of the most common causes of periodontal disease. Some patients are genetically predisposed to harbor bacteria that lead to infection.
  • Medications: Some prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and certain oral contraceptives, cause dry mouth. Since there is a decrease in the production of saliva, dental plaque is more likely to develop.
  • Stress: When the body is under stress, your overall health and immune system are weakened.
  • Hormones: Sudden fluctuations in hormones can lead to changes in your oral health. Some patients experience an increase in gum disease during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
  • Tobacco: Smoking or the use of tobacco products is a primary risk factor for periodontal disease. Not only does tobacco cause plaque and tartar to build faster, but it also decreases healing capacity.
  • Bruxism: Grinding or clenching your teeth places additional stress on your teeth and the surrounding tissues. If you already have gingivitis or gum disease, bruxism can worsen the symptoms. 
  • Poor Diet: Good nutrition is vital for overall oral and physical health. Patients who eat a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar have a greater chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Disease: Certain diseases contribute to a higher risk factor for periodontal disease, such as diabetes, HIV, or rheumatoid arthritis, among others.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

In its initial stages, periodontal disease is often undetectable, so many patients do not realize they have it. However, there are a few symptoms that may indicate gum disease:

  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Drainage or pus along the gum line
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth
  • Red or inflamed gums

The Scaling and Root Planing Process

Your specific dental needs will be evaluated during your appointment. Periodontal charting will be performed to measure the depths of the pockets around each tooth. We will be able to tell you if you have mild, moderate, or advanced periodontal disease.

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat mild periodontal disease. This deep cleaning technique will involve numbing the gums with local anesthesia, allowing the clinician to clean deep into the gum line without causing any discomfort.

During the procedure, a combination of hand scalers and ultrasonic instruments will be used to clean the root surfaces of the teeth. Most patients report little to no discomfort following the appointment.

Maintaining Your Oral Health

Once your scaling and root planing treatment is complete, we will recommend an appropriate cleaning schedule to maintain the health of your gums. Patients who have periodontal disease may require more frequent cleanings, such as three to four times a year, to help remedy heightened bacteria levels.

Periodontal maintenance is vital to your oral and overall health.

During this appointment, we will also advise you on how to follow a regimented at-home oral hygiene routine, to help you maintain your healthy smile. Periodontal maintenance is vital to your oral and overall health.

Schedule Your Examination

If you are experiencing periodontal disease symptoms, such as bleeding gums or bad breath, you could be in need of scaling and root planing treatment. Contact Taylor Dental today to schedule your dental examination.

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What's on Your Mind?

"Everyone that I interacted with was professional and friendly. My dental hygienist, Holly, did an exceptional job cleaning my teeth. She was proficient and kept me as comfortable as possible. The office is very clean, and I just love the heated massage chairs as well as the TV, headphones, and sunglasses provided. Genius!"

Donna S.

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Pensacola Office

6601 N Davis Hwy
Suite 8
Pensacola, FL 32504

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