Deep Cleaning: Beating Gum Disease with Scaling and Root Planing

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For some people, it’s not that hard to ignore the early warning signs of gum disease. But for most people, it’s hard to look past the red flags of advanced gum disease. The symptoms of periodontitis, advanced gum disease, are as serious as they appear to be, but all is not lost when the gums begin to recede and the teeth begin to decay. There’s still a lot an experienced dentist can do for you, including a deep cleaning. Find out how a deep cleaning can help you manage periodontitis.

A Look at Scaling and Root Planing

Commonly referred to as a “deep cleaning,” scaling and root planing is a combination of procedures that gave help you rein in gum disease. Scaling and root planing remove decay and tartar build-up on the teeth and in the gums to stop the spread of gum disease and to regenerate support structures for the teeth.

Here’s how the two procedures are used in concert to turn the tide again gum disease:

Scaling – this procedure is a more involved version of a standard teeth cleaning. The dentist or staff will remove tartar from the teeth, above and below the gum line. During this procedure, decaying material will also be removed.

Root planing – once clean, the roots of teeth will be smoothed over. This helps the gums adhere to the teeth uniformly, minimizing pockets of space between the teeth and gums. Pockets of space between the teeth and gums can serve as incubators for infections.


Like many procedures, scaling and root planing is most effective when used early. However, these procedures can still be extremely powerful in severe cases. In those cases, it could take several deep cleanings, separated by months, to get gum disease under control.

More on Scaling and Root Planing in Traverse City, MI

Reserve an appointment with a local dentist to learn more about your options for scaling and root planing in Traverse City, MI.

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