Periodontal Treatment (Gum Disease)
Gum diseases are treated in a variety of ways depending on the stage of disease. Treatments range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery that restores supportive tissues.
Professional dental cleaning. During a typical cleaning the dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (plaque that builds up and hardens on the tooth surface and which can only be removed with professional cleaning) from above and below the gum line of all your teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, the hygienist may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice per year.
Scaling and root planing. This is a deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedure, done with a local anesthetic, where plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Root surfaces are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing is done when you have plaque and calculus under the gums that needs to be removed.
In some cases, nonsurgical scaling and root planing is all that is needed to treat gum diseases. Surgery is needed when the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with nonsurgical options.