A non-surgical procedure, dental scaling is used to treat persistent gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
When plaque is not removed properly and continues to accumulate, it develops into tartar, creates a breeding ground for bacteria, leaves gums inflamed, and can lead to gum disease. When this happens, dental scaling is used to remove the plaque and tartar buildup along and below the gum line.
Plaque → Tartar → Increase in Bacteria →Gum Inflammation → Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
To clean the teeth below the gum line, your dentist or dental hygienist will first numb the area with a local anesthetic. However, dental scaling and root planing often cause a very minimal amount of discomfort. Specialized tools are used during the procedure to remove plaque and tartar buildup, then root planing smooths out any rough spots on the roots of the teeth to lower your risk of gum disease developing in the future.
The procedure can be completed in a single visit, but most dental professionals will recommend that only a quarter of the mouth be treated per appointment.
After your dental scaling and root planing procedure, your gums may feel tender and sore. To avoid bacteria entering your bloodstream, and to accelerate the time it takes for your gums to get back to normal, it’s crucial to maintain a proper oral care routine.
- Brush twice a day for at least two minutes
- Switch to an electric toothbrush with a sensitivity mode to gently remove plaque before it hardens into tartar
- Use a fluoride toothpaste that cleans along and below the gum line
- Floss in between teeth at least once a day to remove additional buildup for healthier gums
- Rinse with an alcohol-free, gum care mouthwash that’s formulated to reduce gum disease
- Visit your dentist or dental hygienist twice a year for professional cleanings and checkups
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