Dental curettage is a procedure in which tissue is removed from the teeth and the gums. At one time, dental curettage was a common technique used to manage periodontal disease, based on the idea that such tissue can contribute to inflammation, infection, and bad odors, and that removal of the damaged tissue will promote the development of healthy tissue.

Basic dental curettage is defined by using a sharp instrument to cut into the gingival pockets in front of the teeth and removing dead or infected tissue. Usually, local anesthetic is used to make the patient more comfortable during the procedure, and the mouth is frequently flushed with a sterile solution to sweep out debris. This procedure is usually recommended for patients with advanced gum disease, as a tool to manage the problem, and it may require multiple visits.

Studies have suggested that scaling and root planing may be as just effective, especially when done at an early stage. In the early stage, built-up calculus is removed from the teeth with a hand-held instrument, and the roots of the teeth are smoothed so that they do not provide a rough surface for plaque to build up on.