Tooth Scaling and Root Planing Can Prevent Gum Disease

If you have gum disease or gingivitis, your dentist may recommend a procedure called scaling. This removes plaque buildup that can cause gum problems and tooth decay.


Scaling is performed by a dentist or hygienist. It can take up to two hours to complete.

Gum Disease

Having a daily oral care routine, avoiding tobacco use and seeing your dentist for regular checkups are essential steps in preventing gum disease. If you do have gum disease, tooth scaling and root planing are important treatments to help stop its progression and restore your teeth and gums to good health.

Gum disease is a serious dental condition that can destroy your gums and bone if it is not treated in its early stages. It can also contribute to a number of other health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

In the mildest form of gum disease, known as gingivitis, your gums may become red and swollen. They might also bleed when you brush or floss. In severe cases, your gums might pull away from your teeth.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. In this stage, your gums begin to pull away from the teeth, and pockets formed by plaque can become deeper and harder to clean. These pockets can trap bacteria and cause inflammation.

The most common symptoms of gum disease are bleeding and swollen gums, as well as bad breath and loss of teeth or tissue that surrounds your teeth. Other signs of the disease include changes in the way your teeth fit together and loose teeth.

To treat gum disease, your dentist may recommend dental scaling and root planing (SRP), which removes tartar and bacteria beneath the gum line. In addition, SRP helps your gums to heal and reduces the risk of further infections.

A local anesthetic is used during the procedure. Scaling and root planing can sometimes cause sensitivity in your teeth, but it will gradually fade over time.

You can help prevent gum disease by following a regular oral care routine and eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-sodium foods. You can also avoid smoking and minimizing stress.

If you suspect you have gum disease, make an appointment for a consultation at Premier Periodontics in Bellevue, Redmond, Olympia, Mercer Island, Kirkland Kent or Everett, WA. Our periodontal specialists can perform scaling and root planing for you, along with other gum disease treatment options.


Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can be controlled with good oral hygiene habits at home. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is much more severe and is one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults.

Gingivitis happens when plaque, the biofilm that contains bacteria, builds up on your teeth and gum tissue. It can irritate your gums and cause them to bleed and become red.

The best way to prevent and treat gingivitis is to have regular cleanings at a dental office and practice good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily to remove plaque from around your teeth and along your gum line.

When you visit the dentist for a checkup, they will look closely at your teeth and gums to see if you have any signs of gingivitis or gum disease. They will also measure the depth of any “pockets” that have formed in your gums, and take x-rays to see if there is bone loss around your teeth.

If you have a history of gingivitis, your dentist will recommend that you change your oral hygiene habits and get regular dental checkups. They may also prescribe antibiotics and a special antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce inflammation in your gums.

Most people who have gingivitis will regain control of the disease with a combination of good oral health practices and regular visits to their dentists for cleanings. However, if the problem is more serious, your dentist may need to perform deep-cleaning procedures to get rid of the plaque that is causing the disease.

Scaling and root planing are effective at removing hardened plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. They can be done in just a few areas or all over the mouth.

It is also important to stop using tobacco and other risky habits to prevent the progression of gingivitis and gum disease. Smokers are seven times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common problem that can affect people of all ages. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at the enamel, the outer layer of your teeth.

If you eat a lot of sugary or starchy food and don’t brush and floss regularly, the buildup of plaque can lead to tooth decay. Your dentist can help you stop it before it gets worse by giving you fluoride treatments or mouthwash.

Early stage tooth decay usually starts as a white spot on your tooth that gradually turns brown. If you keep brushing and using fluoride mouthwash, the enamel will begin to strengthen.

Next, the acid from the bacteria begins to erode the tooth’s inner layer, called dentin. This is the softer part of your tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.

When this layer is damaged, your tooth may start to ache or become sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. This is because the dentin is softer than your enamel and can easily be broken down by the acid.

If the damage is serious, it’s possible that your tooth will swell and get infected, causing pain. In some cases, the infection will spread into the pulp, the middle of your tooth.

Your dentist can treat your tooth before it becomes infected by performing a root canal. This removes the damaged nerve and seals the hole, helping prevent it from getting infected again.

The decayed tooth then needs to be filled with a filling, which replaces the missing tissue and restores it to its normal shape. Your dentist will also need to place a crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage.

Tooth scaling is the process of removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) from hard-to-reach places in your mouth, like between your teeth or along the gum line. Scaling can be performed by a dental hygienist, an assistant at your dentist’s office, or you yourself.

Tooth decay is a very serious condition that can lead to cavities, tooth loss and other serious problems if it is not treated. Regular brushing and flossing will help keep your smile healthy, but it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. This will also help your dentist catch and treat any signs of gum disease or oral cancer in its early stages.

Plaque Buildup

Plaque buildup occurs when the mouth’s bacteria and saliva create a film that coats your teeth and gums. The film collects food particles, sugars and acids that cause gingivitis, cavities and advanced gum disease when left untreated.

If plaque isn’t removed, it hardens into tartar which can only be treated by your dentist. Once tartar reaches a certain level, it becomes more difficult to remove with your toothbrush and floss. This leads to inflammation of the gum tissues and eventually periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that can result in tooth loss and bone loss.

Fortunately, a simple procedure called dental scaling can prevent the buildup of plaque and prevent its harmful effects on your oral health. Your dentist will scale your teeth using a handheld tool or an ultrasonic device to remove plaque and tartar that is above the reach of your toothbrush and floss.

Teeth Scaling is a common treatment for patients with gum disease, but it can also be used to keep your smile healthy and fresh by combating hidden plaque. The process is a bit more complicated than simply brushing and flossing your teeth, but it will help you keep your mouth clean and avoid gum disease.

Your dentist will start with a light anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the scaling procedure. He or she will then clean the area using a special instrument that looks similar to a dental scaler.

The instrument has a metal tip that simultaneously sprays cool water and chips away at the tartar in the mouth. The process isn’t as harsh on your enamel as manual scaling, and it’s faster and more efficient.

After the procedure is complete, you may experience sensitivity and soreness in your mouth for a few days. Your dentist will likely recommend a desensitizing toothpaste to ease this discomfort.

You should resume regular oral care routines after your procedure, including brushing and flossing twice a day. Eating soft foods and drinking plenty of water will also help speed up the healing process. You should also schedule regular dental cleanings with your dentist to maintain your new-found oral health.