Scaling root planing is a deep cleaning below the gum line used to treat gum disease.
Why is this important?
Gum disease is caused by plaque which is a bacteria that adheres to the teeth like a sticky film. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, and if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.
When gum disease is caught early and no damage below the gum line is present, a standard cleaning at the dentist should be all you need to get your gums back to healthy. If the spacing between your gums and teeth are too deep, then scaling root planing most likely is the correct service. Only your dentist can confirm if this is what you need.
A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that scaling and root planing is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has advanced past gingivitis). Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States.