What is Root Planing and Scaling?

Periodontal Health and Heart Disease 
March 10, 2024
Dr. Levin Speaks at the Southern Implants international conference in Durban, South Africa
May 22, 2024
Periodontal Health and Heart Disease 
March 10, 2024
Dr. Levin Speaks at the Southern Implants international conference in Durban, South Africa
May 22, 2024

Montgomery County’s Top Board-Certified Periodontist 

At Dr. Barry Levin’s office, we understand that the health of your gums is just as important as the health of your teeth. One of the most effective treatments we offer for preventing and treating gum disease is root planing and scaling. This deep cleaning procedure is crucial for patients who are experiencing signs of periodontal disease, such as gum inflammation or bleeding. Here’s a detailed look at what root planing and scaling involve and how they can benefit your oral health.

Understanding Root Planing and Scaling

Root planing and scaling, often referred to as deep cleaning, is a procedure used to clean between the gums and teeth down to the roots. Unlike a regular cleaning, which cleans the surface of the teeth, this procedure goes much deeper. If you have symptoms of gum disease, this type of cleaning might be recommended to prevent progression of the disease.

The Scaling Process

Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and beneath the gums. Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has hardened on the tooth surface and is much more difficult to remove than plaque. It is found above and below the gum line and requires specialized dental instruments to remove. Our hygienists use tools such as ultrasonic scalers, which use vibrations to break up tartar, and hand scalers that fine-tune the cleaning process especially below the gumline.

The Root Planing Process

Root planing goes a step further by smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. After the scaling has removed the tartar from your teeth, the root surfaces are planed to make them smooth and clean. This part of the process helps to heal gum tissue and shrink the periodontal pockets that can harbor bacteria.

Why It’s Needed

Root planing and scaling are necessary to treat gum disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form plaque. When plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar and lead to inflammation and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to more severe conditions such as periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss and has been linked to other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

Benefits of Root Planing and Scaling

The benefits of root planing and scaling are numerous:

  • Prevents Disease: Removing tartar and bacteria helps to prevent the progression of gum disease.
  • Protects Roots: Cleaning the roots of your teeth helps to protect them from decay.
  • Reduces Bad Breath: Gum disease is often accompanied by bad breath. Deep cleaning removes the bacteria that cause these odors.
  • Improves Overall Health: Treating gum disease can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious health complications linked to periodontal disease.

Post-Treatment Care

After a root planing and scaling, you may experience some tenderness or sensitivity for a few days. We recommend soft foods and warm soup, and to avoid anything too hot, cold, or crunchy. Good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, are essential to help the healing process and prevent the recurrence of gum disease.

Contact Montgomery County’s Top Board-Certified Periodontist Today! At Dr. Barry Levin’s practice, we are dedicated to maintaining your oral health in a friendly and caring environment. If you are experiencing signs of gum disease or have been advised to have a deep cleaning, contact us today.