Scaling & Root Planing: a Different kind of Cleaning

For our patients with periodontal (gum) disease we might recommend a “Scaling and Root Planing” which is sometimes called a “deep cleaning.”  In a healthy mouth a regular cleaning, or prophylaxis, focuses on removing plaque and polishing teeth above the gum line. Scaling and Root Planing takes several visits and focuses on the elimination of tartar and plaque belowthe gum where periodontal disease occurs.


Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that can cause the gums become red, swollen if they are not regularly removed from the teeth. This inflammation of the gums is called “gingivitis.”


When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontal disease where the gums actually begin to pull away from the teeth and form “pockets” that are infected. Below the gum line, bacterial toxins and the body’s enzymes fighting the infection actually start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.


A Scaling and Root Planing combined with medications, regular office visits and a personalized home care program can help to reduce the pocket depths and begin to control periodontal disease