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Periodontal disease generally begins when the bacteria living in plaque cause an infection in the surrounding tissues of the teeth, causing them to become irritated and painful.

You could need periodontal treatment if you have moderate to advanced gum disease or localized gum recession. Gum disease occurs when the gums are bleeding, swollen or red around most teeth and the jawbone has begun to recede. Localized gum recession is an infection which often begins in one area. Gum recession may be caused by over-brushing with a hard bristle brush, or due to a tooth that is not positioned properly. Immediate treatment is required to prevent further spreading.

In the case of mild/moderate periodontal problems, Dr. Bellinghiere's focus will be on curing the underlying bacterial infection and then providing advice on the most appropriate home cleaning methods.

Sometimes a deep scaling is needed to remove the bacterial plaque and tartar from teeth and tissue. Where periodontal disease is advanced and the jawbone has regressed significantly, more intensive cleaning may be recommended and loose teeth that cannot be saved will be removed.

Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

The objective of both scaling and root planning is to remove the plaque and tartar that are causing gum inflammation. The scaling tool removes calculus and plaque from the surface of the crown and root surfaces. In many cases, the scaling tool includes an irrigation process that can also be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums that can help reduce oral bacteria. Root planing removes cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. 

These non-surgical procedures are effective for individuals suffering from gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.

Periolase Treatment is another option for patients at Omaha Gentle Dentistry. Dr. Bellinghiere received training and certification in the use of the Periolase laser in 2005. Patients that have suffered from periodontal disease for years with deep pocketing, can now receive this treatment with outstanding results.

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Reasons for Scaling and Root Planing:

Disease Prevention: Oral bacteria can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to periodontal bacteria. 

Tooth Protection: Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world.

Aesthetic Effects: As an added bonus, if superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of the scaling and root planning procedure.

Better Breath: One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis (bad breath). Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.