Periodontal (gum) disease is silent and chronic, rarely giving an advanced warning that tissue destruction is taking place. It is a chronic condition that is not cured but can be stabilized and maintained. Periodontists have a great track record when it comes to getting periodontal conditions under control. Once the initial treatment has been completed, maintenance care is essential for future good oral health.
Scaling and root planing is the most common and conservative form of treatment for periodontal disease. Scaling is the removal of calculus (commonly called tartar) and plaque that attach to the tooth surfaces. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Plaque is more likely to stick to rough surfaces. For this reason, the root surface is smoothed down in a process called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining calculus and smoothes irregular areas of the root surface.