ORAL HYGIENE: Failure to clean your teeth thoroughly at least once a day!
The soft sticky white stuff that builds up on your teeth is not food debris. It is made up of germs that accumulate in a mass called plaque. Plaque is very toxic because it is a mass of living organisms which produce certain enzymes which tend to eat away at the gums, the periodontal ligament and the underlying bone that supports the teeth. This disease process is known as periodontal disease or gum disease. Eventually, it causes the loss of so much supporting bone, that the teeth become mobile and painful to touch.
This process can be stopped simply by removing the plaque from all surfaces of the teeth, but the bone, once lost, never comes back. In order to arrest the disease, you must brush and clean between the teeth at least once a day.
The key to cure is good hygiene. And that means cleaning the plaque all the way to the bottom of the pocket.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING: Measures that keep your mouth and teeth clean.
Scaling and root planning is the most common conventional form of treatment for periodontal disease. It is actually deep cleaning below the gum-line for treating gum diseases.
This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is done when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gum line. Plaque is more likely to stick to rough surfaces. For this reason, the root surface is smoothed down in a process called root planning. Root planning is used to remove any remaining tartar and smoothens irregular areas of the root surface. It involves detailed scaling of the root surface to decrease inflammation of the gum tissue. It entails smoothing the rough spots on the roots of the teeth to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Otherwise it can promote gum disease by trapping and holding bacteria in the pockets.
Scaling and root planning may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic. It is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe.