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Restorative Dentistry

Root Planing and Scaling: Effective Treatment for Gum Disease

By February 4, 2015No Comments

94789483-xsBacteria, plaque, and tartar can be extremely harmful to a patient’s oral health. Not only can these elements break down tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay, but they are also damaging to the health of the gums. When bacteria work its way beneath the gum line, plaque and tartar are also likely to build up. This can cause the gums to become tender, swollen, and red, and may lead to a receding of the gum line and the creation of dangerous “pockets” of space between the teeth and gums. At Dentistry at 1818, we offer restorative dentistry treatments to renew the strength and health of the teeth and gums. One of the treatments that we frequently use to combat mild to moderate forms of gum disease is a process known as root planing and scaling. For our Philadelphia patients, root planing and scaling can effectively eliminate periodontal disease so that patients once again have a healthy foundation for their teeth.

Candidates for Treatment

Root planing and scaling is a non-invasive form of gum disease treatment that has been effective in treating various degrees of gum disease. For patients who display mild signs of periodontal disease to those with more advanced symptoms, root planing and scaling may be able to effectively eliminate harmful bacteria from beneath the gum line so that the gums are able to heal and oral health can be restored. Below are some symptoms of gum disease that may be a sign that a patient is a good candidate for root planing and scaling:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Pain or sensitivity in the gums or teeth
  • Bleeding when the teeth are brushed
  • Receding gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Halitosis (consistently bad breath)


Root planing and scaling is a non-invasive procedure that is typically performed using just a local anesthetic. This procedure can effectively clean the teeth all the way down to the roots (beneath the gum line), thus removing harmful bacteria, plaque, and tartar from beneath the gum line. During this procedure, a dental tool is used to scrape away any plaque or tartar that has built up on the surface of the teeth. This technique goes beyond a routine dental cleaning by extending the cleaning area to include parts of the teeth that sit beneath the gum line. When the teeth have been cleaned, the roots of the teeth will be “planed” to create a smoother surface. This is meant to make it more difficult for bacteria, plaque, and tartar to cling to the teeth. The root planing and scaling procedure is often concluded with anti-bacterial treatment to ensure that all harmful bacteria is eliminated from the teeth and gums. With the teeth and gums thoroughly cleaned, the gums can begin to heal and any pockets that were created should close up as the gums once again hug closely to the teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

At Dentistry at 1818, we offer patients the treatments necessary to restore and maintain a smile that is healthy and beautiful. If you are looking for high quality dental care that is combined with personal patient care, you will find what you’re looking for at Dentistry at 1818. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!