Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

Dec 01, 2020

If you have plaque andtartar deposits on periodontal pockets, your dentist might consider rootplaning and scaling to eliminate them.

Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

Root planing and scaling, also known as deep cleaning,are dental procedures that your dentist can consider to treat gum disease.Unlike a typical tooth cleaning by your oral hygienist, scaling and rootplaning procedures go deeper into the gum tissues.

The teeth scaling and root planing procedure requiresmore than one dental visit, depending on the severity of the periodontaldisease and gum recession.

When Do I Need Teeth Scaling or Root Planing?

If you have tartar and plaque deposits on the gumline, your dentist might consider teeth scaling. However, if you have infectedgums, causing a recession, the dentist can consider root planing and scaling toeliminate signs of periodontal pockets.

Apart from periodontal pockets, gum disease has othersymptoms such as:

  • Foul mouth odor
  • Red and tender gum
  • Change in your bite
  • Bleeding gum

Periodontitis occurs when bacteria in plaque andtartar cause gum tissue to pull away from the tooth. When your gums pull awayfrom the teeth, they form large pockets between your gum tissues and the teethroots. Plaque and tartar accumulate into the periodontal pockets, encouragingthe multiplication of bacteria hence inflammation of the gums.

You might not be able to reach the periodontal pocketswhen brushing or flossing your teeth. Therefore, you should consider seekingtreatment from your general dentist or periodontist. If left untreated, gumdisease can lead to complications such as:     

  • Bone loss
  • Need for a tooth extraction
  •  Loose or moving teeth
  • General health conditions such as heartfailure and stroke

Some of the causes of gum disease include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Using and smoking tobacco products
  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal changes
  • Family history or other medical condition

What to Expect During the Procedures

Periodontal treatments are general dentistry services.Therefore, you can receive the scaling and root planing procedure in yourfamily dentist’s office as an outpatient service. Alternatively, you can seekperiodontal treatments from a periodontist.

Depending on the number of teeth that require rootplaning and scaling, the procedure might require more than one session. Also,the dentist might administer anesthesia to numb the area that needs treatment.If you need scaling on multiple areas, the dentist will only numb one area at atime.

Next, your dentist will use a scaler to remove plaqueand tartar deposits on the gum line and the large pockets between your gums andteeth.

After scraping the debris, your dentist will proceedwith root planing. Root planing involves removing debris on the roots of theteeth to encourage reattachment to the gums. During the procedure, the dentistmight remove some parts of the dental and smoothen the surfaces of your teethroots.

Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, thedentist might recommend antimicrobial treatments. The dentist will placeantiseptic drugs in the periodontal pockets to eliminate bacteria and help youheal faster.

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

Root planing and scaling are the main treatments forperiodontitis. Therefore, by removing plaque and bacteria from the gum line andperiodontal pockets, you can prevent bone loss, tooth loss, and other generalhealth conditions.

Also, by removing plaque on the teeth, you reduce theeffects of discoloration hence smile aesthetics.

Preventing Gum Disease

Good oral hygiene is the basis of every healthy mouth.Therefore, to prevent gum disease, you can consider the following:   

  • Brushing twice daily to remove foodparticles on the teeth surfaces and gum line
  • Avoid sharing your toothbrush to preventspreading the gum disease
  • Floss at least once a day to remove plaqueand debris between your teeth
  • Visit your oral hygienist regularly forprofessional dental exams and cleanings near you

To prevent gum infections, you can also avoid smokingor using any tobacco products and check your diet.


Gum disease can lead to further complications if leftuntreated. Therefore, you should consider seeking treatments early. Withtreatments such as root planing and teeth scaling, you will prevent the needfor more invasive treatments such as flap surgery.

You might need more than one session to finish theprocedure and also experience mild side effects after the treatments.

Finding a Dentist

If you have receding gums and need treatments, at PeakDental clinic, you can get the services you need, inclusive of a dentalexam, and cleaning in Austin. Our dentist has years of experience treatinggum disease. Therefore, you can anticipate quality service whenever you decideto have your dental exam and cleaning in Austin, TX. Our facility hasserviced patients from South Austin, North Austin, and Pflugerville,among other areas.

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