Understanding Root Scaling and Periodontal Procedures

Often plaque will build up under your gums and require root scaling to get your teeth back into good condition. To understand stand the need for root scaling you need to understand periodontal pockets and how they are reduced and it is necessary to understand some simple dental anatomy.


Tooth Anatomy

The root of teeth are surrounded by bone, providing a stable and secure foundation.

In a healthy tooth a probe placed at the junction of the tooth and the gum will slip under the gum 1 to 3 millimeter or so. Healthy gum tissue is attached to the tooth. If plaque is allowed to accumulate around the neck of the tooth, especially between the teeth, the gum responds by becoming red, inflamed and swollen. This stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis.


Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums when an individual brushes or flossed their teeth. Now the tip of the probe slips further under the gum because the gum is swollen and has pulled away from the tooth. Plaque that collects now is more difficult to remove because it hides under the swollen gum. Bacteria forms and grows in the pocket, eventually cause loss of the supporting bone.

Bone Loss

The longer the pocket under the gum is left untreated them more extensive the bone loss can be. Continual destruction of the bone will eventually result in the loss of teeth.

The Remedy

If pocket depths are reduced you will be able to self clean all areas of your teeth. Proper cleaning will then help to minimize plaque and bacteria accumulation, pocket formation and new periodontal disease.

Root Scaling

Scaling and root planing is the first step in pocket reduction. This is usually done by quadrant, that is upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left. A local anesthetic is used to ensure your comfort. Accumulated plaque calculus and bacteria are removed from the pocket. The surfaces at the crown and root of the tooth are left as smooth as possible allowing for maximum ease in cleaning and to inhibit the formation of new plaque and calculus.

After the pockets are reduced personal home dental care will help them from reoccurring.

Our Office

Our Hygienists, Corrie Probst and Kyle VanValkenburg are experts in getting your teeth back to a healthy condition and teach you home dental care to prevent periodontal disease.

Make your appointment today.

Dr. Gregory Erramouspe, Wyoming Dentist