Treating Gum Disease with Root Planing and Scaling By Michael Bixby on October 08, 2014

A dental mirror being used to examine the teeth and gums of a patientMost patients dread hearing the words “gum disease.” While gum disease is a condition that should be taken seriously, it is more common than many patients realize. Most patients suffer from some degree of gum disease at one time or another, whether it is the earliest stages of gum disease (known as gingivitis) or a more advanced case. If left untreated, gum disease can have serious consequences, but with early detection and treatment, the health of the gums and teeth can easily be restored. Dr. Michael Bixby offers restorative dentistry care to improve the health of the teeth and gums so that patients can avoid serious dental problems that require more invasive treatment. For our patients in Red Bank, root planing and scaling is a treatment commonly used to address moderate to advanced stages of gum disease. This deep-cleaning procedure can often stop the progression of gum disease so that oral surgery can be avoided.


Root planing and scaling is an ideal treatment for patients who are experiencing the symptoms of moderate to advanced stages of gum disease. These patients often require more attention than that provided by a regular dental cleaning or fluoride treatment, but whose gums can still be treated without surgical intervention. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced by these patients include the following:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tenderness or discomfort around the gums and teeth
  • Pockets of space between the teeth and gum line
  • Loose teeth

All of these are signs that gum disease is present and an indication that professional dental care is necessary.

What Does Treatment Involve?

Root planing and scaling is a minimally invasive treatment. While it is more thorough than a regular dental cleaning, it is much less invasive than oral surgery. Using local anesthetic, the gums are numbed so that patients remain comfortable throughout treatment. Dr. Bixby then removes bacteria, plaque, and tartar from around the teeth, at the base of the gum line, and beneath the gum line. The surface of the roots are also filed down slightly to create a smoother surface that makes it more difficult for bacterial to adhere to. Essentially, root planing and scaling is a deep cleansing of the teeth (including its roots) and gums.

In most cases, treatment will be completed with an administration of antibiotics. These antibiotics may be in the form of a gel or rinse. By completing the procedure with an antibiotic treatment, Dr. Bixby can ensure that all harmful bacteria have been eliminated from the teeth and gums. With the teeth and gums cleansed of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, healthy gum tissue can regenerate and, once again, form a secure seal with the teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

The health of the gums is essential to a fully functional, healthy, attractive smile. If you have experienced any of the side effects of gum disease, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to discuss your symptoms with Dr. Michael Bixby. Dr. Bixby can restore the health of the teeth and gums before more serious complications develop. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Dr. Bixby

Center for Advanced Dentistry

Dr. Michael Bixby has been providing comprehensive dental services to patients in the Red Bank area since 1998. He is proud to be affiliated with a range of prestigious organizations, including:

  • The Academy of General Dentistry
  • The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • The Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines

For more information about our services, contact our practice online or call (732) 224-1160 to speak to a member of our team today.

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