Scaling and root planing may be required for treatment of periodontal disease. The buildup of bacteria below the gumline causes gum disease. This bacteria can cause plaque and tartar to form, which in turn promotes the buildup of more bacteria. Scaling is done to remove the bacteria and tartar from below the gumline. Root planing is done to smooth out the root of the tooth, which can become bumpy due to the bacteria. These procedures will help remove bacterial deposits off of the tooth and help keep them from coming back. After this procedure, your periodontal pocket depths should decrease, which will help you keep your teeth cleaner.