When your dentist notices that your periodontal pockets are getting deeper, he will more than likely send you to a periodontist for gum disease treatment. Gum disease is an infection caused by the bacteria that live in your mouth and can be quite harmful to your smile and overall health when neglected. Fortunately, when detected early, gum disease can be successfully treated with a non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planing. Want to know more? We have provided a list of frequently asked questions about this treatment for periodontitis in Birmingham, AL.

Everything You Want to Know About Scaling and Root Planing

Q: What happens during the procedure?
A: It is a more involved version of the professional teeth cleanings you already get. At regular cleanings, the focus is on teeth above the gum line. In this version, however, the hygienist removes plaque and bacteria from below the gum line and then also smoothes the tooth root.

Q: Is it painful?
A: This is a non-surgical treatment with very little associated discomfort. Patients who have very sensitive teeth or feel anxious during dental procedures may want a local anesthetic.

Q: How do I know if I need scaling and root planing?
A: Your doctor will likely be the first to notice, but symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, swollen or inflamed gum tissue, bad breath, gum recession, teeth sensitivity, loose teeth, and deep periodontal pockets. If you notice any of these signs, schedule a visit to your periodontist.

Q: What other treatments are available?
A: Your doctor may suggest antibiotic therapy in addition to scaling and root planing, if you are in the initial stages of gum disease. More severe cases may require gum surgery. Fortunately, some periodontists, like Dr. Leigh Kent, offer a laser gum surgery called Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®). Laser gum surgery is performed without scalpels or stitches, resulting in faster recovery times and greater comfort, during and after the procedure.

Do you need treatment for periodontitis in Birmingham, AL? Call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kent. A simple consultation may be all you need to make a better decision about the health of your smile.