Accumulation of plaque causes inflammation of the gums and breakdown of the periodontal attachment (the fibrous connection of the teeth to the supporting structures). Pockets between the teeth and soft tissue become deeper, and the underlying bone recedes. Increased pocket depth encourages the formation of more calculus, plaque and further tissue breakdown. Left untreated, gum disease can thrive.
Root planning is a procedure to treat periodontal conditions (moderate to advanced gum disease) by thoroughly scaling the roots of teeth to establish a smooth, calculus free surface. The process may be performed by a dental hygienist or a dentist. Thorough periodontal scaling customarily involves several dental visits. Please note that insurance companies often pay a smaller percentage towards periodontal treatment than preventative treatment.