Nothing but the Tooth: Root Planing and Scaling Quiz

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About This Quiz

Root planing and scaling can help treat gum disease without resorting to surgery, but what's involved in the procedure, and how can you avoid gum disease in the first place? Think you're an oral hygiene pro? Find out with our quiz!

Root planing and scaling: does this refer to one procedure or two?

Root planing and scaling are two procedures done at the same time to treat gum disease.

What lifestyle factors contribute to gum disease?

Smoking, a high sugar diet, and poor oral hygiene all can contribute to gum disease.

Gum disease sufferers are more prone to which of these illnesses?

Studies have shown that people with gum disease are more at risk for stroke and heart attack.

Which of these is not a method for root planing and scaling?

Your dentist or periodontist can use manual scraping instruments (mechanical) or an ultrasonic tool to perform root planing and scaling.

If root planing and scaling is ineffective for your gum disease, what else can your doctor do?

If root planing and scaling don't do the trick, you may need to consider surgery to treat your gum disease.

Is root planing and scaling painful?

Your dentist will use a local anesthetic during the procedure. Some people find it uncomfortable, and other's don't.

Which of these can you expect to experience after your root planing and scaling?

Because of the scraping and sanding involved in these procedures, your teeth and gums may be more sensitive than usual after root planing and scaling.

Which is NOT a risk associated with root planing and scaling?

Your dentist may put you on antibiotics, if you're at high risk for infection from root planing and scaling.

What is scaling?

Scaling is sort of like a very deep cleaning that removes plaque and bacteria far below the gum line

What is root planing?

When your dentist performs root planing, he's gently sanding the teeth and the roots of your teeth to keep bacteria from growing there.

Why do researchers think that gum disease is correlated with higher risk for stroke and heart attack?

Researchers think that your body is using its resources to fight the inflammation in your gums, which stresses out your immune system.

How does your dentist prevent gum infection after root planing and scaling?

It's common for dentists to implant antibiotic threads in a patient's gums after a root planing and scaling to prevent infection. You head back to the office after about a week to have those removed.

Which of these is a symptom of gum disease?

In addition to dry mouth, other symptoms of gum disease include swollen or bleeding gums and sensitive teeth.

What is the medical term for gum disease?

Gingivitis refers to gum swelling and can progress into more serious gum disease, called periodontitis, where the gums start to pull away from the teeth. So both are correct.

Which of these illnesses increases your risk for gum disease?

Diabetes increases your risk of developing gum disease.

Does mouthwash prevent gum disease?

Mouthwash alone can't prevent gum disease, but it can help along with a good brushing and flossing routine.

Why do some patients find the ultrasonic method less uncomfortable?

Rather than scraping and digging to remove debris, the ultrasonic method uses a tiny vibrating wand, so there's less pressure on your gums and teeth.

Is root planing and scaling similar to a root canal?

A root canal is a procedure to repair a specific damaged tooth, while root planing and scaling focus on cleaning your gums across your whole mouth.

When are you at higher risk for developing gum disease?

Your body goes through hormonal changes during pregnancy which makes your gums more sensitive and more prone to developing gum disease.

Can gum disease cause you to lose teeth?

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to loose teeth or even losing a tooth.

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