Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Diagnosis and treatment for gum disease will depend on several factors: these can be explained to you in detail at your office visit:

Professional Cleaning

Before the onset of periodontal disease, your gums may just be inflamed; this is called gingivitis. Before advanced gum disease has an opportunity to become more aggressive and require more in depth therapies, professional cleaning as part of your regular checkups are a vital part in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Deep Cleaning – Scaling and Root Planing

The first step in treating advanced gum disease involves a deeper cleaning called scaling and root planing. This allows us to reach in areas below the gum line comfortably that a regular cleaning cannot reach. Often local anesthesia is used to maintain comfort. This treatment may be done over more than one visit, depending on your personal needs. We may recommend medication (an oral rinse) to help control infection, eliminate discomfort or to aid in healing.

Periodontal Surgery – gum surgery may be needed

Surgery allows your dentist to remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas where scaling and root planning have been ineffective. The purpose of surgery is to reduce pocket depths of the gums to allow for easier maintenance and prevention of continued disease.

Regular periodontal cleanings help you stay on top of your gum disease

Once the disease process is controlled, it is very important for you to continue periodontal maintenance care to keep your gums healthy. Your periodontal maintenance involves cleanings that are deeper than a conventional cleaning. It is important to acknowledge that gum disease will not resolve on its own. Adherence to the recommended treatment can allow you to keep your teeth for a very long time!

Treatment visits with periodontal care

You may need to plan for additional professional maintenance appointments throughout the year. Your maintenance schedule will be catered to you once the disease process has been diagnosed and treated. Once your gums are healthy, your dentist will modify your maintenance schedule based on your clinical evaluations.

Medication

You may also need special medications than can help control the infection and pain or to help your gums heal. The medicine could be a pill, a special mouthrinse, or a medication that your dentist places directly into the pocket right after deep cleaning.

You may have sensitive teeth and gums after your treatment

Your teeth and gums may be sensitive after your treatment. This is normal, but it’s important to follow on home care! If plaque is not removed, root decay may form. We may also recommend desensitizing toothpastes to help you with sensitivity.

Keep up your oral care at home

It is very important that you brush and floss every day – especially if you are healing from gum disease.

  • Brush frequency. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps keep teeth strong.
  • We may also recommend a prescription strength mouthrinse. All recommended products have met ADA standards for safety and effectiveness.