You should have a standard cleaning at least twice a year. If it has been over a year since your last cleaning, possible treatment will include either Periodontal Scaling (deeper) or Root Planning and Scaling (requires anesthetic).
Nobody plans on getting gum disease, but it happens — to most of the population. Like dental cavities, gum disease is caused by a buildup of dental plaque bacteria, resulting in dental calculus, or dental tartar. Over time, dental plaque and its cohorts will creep beneath the gum line, forming “pockets” between the teeth and gums. The larger these pockets grow, the worse gum disease gets. Only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove the dental calculus that has accumulated in the pockets of your gums. A non-surgical approach known as scaling is the first in a series of periodontal procedures used for gum disease treatments. During tooth scaling, an instrument called a scaler is used to remove dental plaque and dental calculus from beneath the gums. Once the dental plaque and dental calculus have been removed, the area that has been scraped leaves a jagged appearance. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth’s root. Why is this necessary? Root planing helps gums heal: It’s easier for gums to reattach themselves to a smoother root than one still suffering from the results of gum disease. The smooth surface also helps keep dental plaque from attacking the tooth’s root, making it easier to maintain the gums following treatment.
Once scaling is complete, preventative care necessary to keep gums healthy. Although gum disease can never be cured, proper oral hygiene can curb the problems that started it in the first place. Brushing and flossing will help fight the dental plaque that is constantly forming around teeth. Regular dental visits are also required to remove the dental calculus you’ve missed.
A simple procedure like scaling can reduce the disease’s effects and restore gums to a healthy state. Without proper treatment, gum disease can progress — literally to the point of no return. Once gum tissue is lost, it doesn’t grow back. The earlier you treat gum disease, the better chance you have of recovery.