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Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

June 6, 2021
If you have plaque and tartar deposits on periodontal pockets, your dentist might consider root planing and scaling to eliminate them.Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease
Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

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 root planning procedures go deeper into the gum tissues.
The teeth scaling and root planing procedure require more than one dental visit, depending on the severity of the periodontal disease and gum recession.

When Do I Need Teeth Scaling or Root Planing?

If you have tartar and plaque deposits on the gum line, your dentist might consider teeth scaling. However, if you have infected gums, causing a recession, the dentist can consider root planing and scaling to eliminate signs of periodontal pockets

Apart from periodontal pockets, gum disease has other symptoms such as:

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

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

You might not be able to reach the periodontal pockets when brushing or flossing your teeth. Therefore, you should consider seeking treatment from your general dentist or periodontist. If left untreated, gum disease 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 planning procedure in your family dentist’s office as an outpatient service. Alternatively, you can seek periodontal treatments from a periodontist.

Depending on the number of teeth that require root planing 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 a time.

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

After scraping the debris, your dentist will proceed with root planning. Root planing involves removing debris on the roots of the teeth to encourage reattachment to the gums. During the procedure, the dentist might remove some parts of the dental and smoothen the surfaces of your teeth roots.

Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, the dentist might recommend antimicrobial treatments. The dentist will place antiseptic drugs in the periodontal pockets to eliminate bacteria and help you heal faster.

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

Root planing and scaling are the main treatments for periodontitis. Therefore, by removing plaque and bacteria from the gum line and periodontal pockets, you can prevent bone loss, tooth loss, and other general health conditions.

Also, by removing plaque on the teeth, you reduce the effects 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 food particles on the teeth surfaces and gum line
  • Avoid sharing your toothbrush to prevent spreading the gum disease
  • Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth
  • Visit your oral hygienist regularly for professional dental exams and cleanings near you

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


Gum disease can lead to further complications if left untreated. Therefore, you should consider seeking treatments early. With treatments 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 the procedure 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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