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Common Indications for Root Scaling and Planing

Posted on 6/5/2023 by Kenneth D. Parrish, DMD, PhD
Common Indications for Root Scaling and PlaningRoot scaling and planing are performed to clean the gum line to prevent gum disease. Scaling focuses on removing accumulated tartar and plaque on the gumline while planing focuses more on smoothing the roots of your teeth. Some of the common indications of root scaling and planing primarily include:

Periodontal Deep Pockets

When the gum tissues are infected and pull away from the teeth, they can leave behind pockets. The pockets can encourage the buildup of bacteria. Root scaling and planing help to clean tartar and plaque on the gum line. If you have four millimeters and above pockets, it is a sign of deep pockets and must be professionally cleaned.

Bleeding Gums

If you are bleeding when brushing or eating food, it can indicate that you have gum disease. Bleeding indicates there is plaque deposition in the gum line. A deep cleaning helps remove plaque and ensure your gum tissues are healthy.

Inflamed Gums

Another thing that might warrant root scaling and planing is swelling of the gum tissues. Redness and inflammation of the gums indicate that you have gingivitis which is a sign of infection. Scaling helps remove bacteria deposits, while planing will ensure the roots are smooth and plaque does not settle again.

Bone Loss

Severe gum disease can lead to the destruction of the jawbone. Bone loss occurs due to the buildup of harmful bacteria in these tissues, slowly eating away the bone and interfering with its structural integrity. Root scaling and planing aim to reach the gum line and remove any traces of harmful toxins that are destroying the bone. However, in severe bone loss, scaling and planing alone cannot give effective results, and you will require bone grafts. Grafting is the process of attaching new grafts to the damaged parts of the bones to stimulate the growth of a new bone. You can always discuss with your dentist your available options.
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