Periodontal Scaling And Root Planing

Most periodontal problems are inflammatory in nature, and are caused by bacterial infection. Scaling and Root Planing is designed to remove the source of inflammation and to help correct the damage it has produced, if not too severe. With regular dental checkups and correct home care, these treatments may be sufficient to treat the periodontal problem, in certain more advanced cases, periodontal surgery may be necessary as the second phase of treatment.


Periodontal scaling and root planning is basically a cleaning of the root surface of the tooth below the gum line, utilizing local anesthesia. Scaling removes the hard calcified deposits, tarter or calculus, which has adhered to the root surface. This build-up is teeming with bacteria that produce toxins that inflame the gum tissue. In addition the gums cannot attach to a diseased root surface. Root planing removes the outer diseased root surface to allow for reattachment of the gums to a healthy root surface. This procedure also helps to reduce or eliminate periodontal pockets.

Post Operative Instructions:

These procedures may cause some mild bleeding the day of the treatment. This is normal, but should the bleeding continue well into the next day, Please call our office.

You may eat whatever you feel comfortable chewing. You may have some sensitivity especially to cold but also to hot or sweet. One reason for the sensitivity is because the tarter build-up that covered the root is now gone and the tooth root surface can feel the cold, hot or sweet that is in contact with that surface. Another is the decrease in the inflammation of the gums. This decrease can lead to shrinkage of the gum tissue back to a healthy state, and parts of the tooth that were covered are now exposed to the mouth. To compensate for the sensitivity, you may want to use specialized toothpaste for sensitive teeth such as Sensodyne. These types of toothpaste's can take up to ten days before you may feel a difference.

If you have any mild discomfort you may take an over the counter pain pill. Usually whatever you take for a headache. Advil or Tylenol is best. Please do not drink alcohol when taking pain medication.

You can rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt to 8 oz. warm water) 1 to 2 times a day for the next three days to help soothe the gums.

Continue brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly. After scaling and root planing home care is imperative for successful outcomes. These areas may bleed when cleaned. Do not worry about this! As the area gets back to a healthy state the bleeding will decrease. Healthy gum tissue is pink and tightly connected to the teeth. As the gums heal you may feel the gum tissue shrinking and tightening around the teeth. This is because the swelling from the inflammation is decreasing. Good home care habits can prevent the reoccurrence of the infection and keep the gums healthy. This leads to long-term use of your own teeth.