Dr. Paul Perella, DMD

Root Planing and Scaling

Root planing and scaling is the most common treatment for periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that has attached to plaque and calculus on teeth and below the gum line. The bacteria causes serious inflammation, which destroys gum and bone tissue, making the teeth shift, become unstable or even fall out. The pockets between the gums and teeth become deeper, therefore housing more bacteria which can travel through the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body.

Root planing and scalings are done to remove that plaque and calculus, therefore controlling the bacteria. For early stages of the disease, this treatment may be all that is needed to get it under control. And because the hygienist will be cleaning below the gum line, the patient will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area that will be worked on. 

After treatment, we recommend our patients return every 3-4 months for a periodontal maintenance cleaning. Frequent removal of the bacteria from under the gum line controls inflammation and prevent further breakdown of bone and gum tissue. Though gum disease can't be completely reversed, periodontal maintenance is one of the best tools to effectively halt its destructive progress.

Other Benefits of Periodontal Maintenance

  1. Fresher breath: Periodontal disease is often signified by persistent bad breath (halitosis). Bad breath is generally caused by a combination of rotting food particles stuck below the gum line, and gum infection. The removal of the plaque, calculus and bacteria will noticeably improve breath and irritation.
  2. Aesthetics:  Regular periodontal maintenance cleanings will remove stains and yellowing on teeth.
  3. Tartar removal: Even the best brushing and flossing routines at home can't remove debris, bacteria and plaque from below the gum line.


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