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In order to resolve the inflammation of the gums, the cause of gum irritation has to be removed. Calculus or tartar and plaque on the root surface of the teeth harbours toxin that in high quantity cause swollen gums and destruction of the surrounding bone. The process of removing calculus below the gum is called root planing. Usually one section of the mouth is rootplaned at one time under local anaesthesia and it takes up to 2 hours.