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woman with straight white teethVisiting us for regular, six-monthly cleanings is important for keeping your oral health up to date and properly maintained. Unfortunately, some patients still experience gum disease, which can result from a number of causes, including:

  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Lack of brushing or flossing
  • Tooth decay

Fortunately, there’s a solution for stopping gum disease before it spreads or becomes worse: Root scaling and planing.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Periodontal infections begin with too many bacteria just under the gums around teeth. This buildup causes a reaction in the surrounding tissue, where the gums detach from the tooth, creating a deep “pocket” underneath. Additionally, the bone in those adjacent spaces will begin to resorb or shrink away. The vicious cycle worsens until it is professionally treated, leading to deepening pockets, bone deterioration, tooth mobility and loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease traditionally presents itself as swollen, bleeding gums. People with the condition also tend to suffer from halitosis, gum recession and heavy tartar buildup. Your teeth may also feel sore or mobile, depending on the extent of infection in your tissues.

What is Root Scaling and Planing?

Scaling and root planing is also known as a ‘deep clean’ for your teeth and gums. When gum disease strikes, it needs immediate attention. If you notice that your gums are red or inflamed, swollen, bleeding, or receding from your teeth, give us a call.

During a deep cleaning appointment, we’ll begin by effectively cleaning your teeth to remove tartar or plaque buildup-but we don’t stop there. Next, we’ll remove plaque buildup around and under the gum line-this helps to reduce infection and stop gum recession in its tracks, effectively fighting gingivitis. We will use a local anesthetic so that you’re completely comfortable the whole time and never in pain.

Your gums will then be sealed back to your teeth, making it harder for plaque and bacteria to sneak under them and continue to cause problems. Your gums may feel tender for the next day, and we recommend rinsing with a warm saltwater mix to soothe them.

For patients experiencing the early signs of gingivitis, we recommend they return to our practice for a checkup and clean every 3-6 months until we’re sure the problem is under control.

Locally Placed Antibiotic Therapy

Immediately after your deep cleaning we will place micro-antibiotics inside of the deeper gum pocket areas. These direct medication capsules speed up healing and aid in tissue reattachment, physically shortening the depth of the gum pocket in that space.

A Risk to Your Overall Health

Untreated periodontal disease is directly related to systemic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia and infertility. Numerous studies show that eliminating gum disease can boost your immunity and help to stabilize co-existing health problems. It also lowers your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Gum Disease FAQ

Is it possible to prevent gum disease?

Yes. Your daily oral hygiene and regular dental checkups help prevent bacterial buildup from reaching aggressive levels of disease. Unfortunately if flossing is not a priority or preventable care not accessible, gum disease can develop as the months and years go by.

Who is at risk?

Gum disease can affect people of all ages. The bacteria can also be shared between individuals through saliva, such as when sharing eating utensils or kissing.

Can it be reversed?

No. The goal of periodontal therapy is to prevent tooth loss by treating the gums, tightening the tissues and avoiding additional bone shrinkage. Through routine care and maintenance we can help you maintain your current tissue integrity and prevent unnecessary loss of teeth. We’ll regularly monitor your gum health at intermittent visits every 3-6 months, depending on the severity of your bone loss.

Learn More Today

We’d love to speak with you about how we can help you combat further gum damage and get your oral health back on track. To learn more and book a visit today, feel free to give our practice a call.

We look forward to welcoming you into our care.


Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.


Scaling and Root Planing Casa Blanca, Riverside, Chino Hills CA | Melody Dental Care