The dentist or dental hygienist will determine what therapy required based on each patient’s type and severity of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is the precursor to periodontal disease, and if caught in this early stage it can usually be treated with a thorough teeth cleaning and improved home care habits. It is important to understand that gingivitis is reversible, while periodontal disease is irreversible.
If periodontal disease is diagnosed, the patient will require a more advanced cleaning, called scaling and root planning. This means that the hygienist will clean underneath the gum line to properly remove any harmful bacteria, calculus build up, and infection. If the calculus and bacteria are not removed from under the gum line, the periodontal disease will continue to progress by destroying the bone and support around the teeth. The tissue will be numb during scaling and root planning, and typically the mouth will be cleaned in quadrants depending on the severity of disease. In some cases, special medications or rinses will be recommended to aide in the healing process as well.
After a four to six week healing period, if the pockets around the teeth have not improved, we may refer you to the Periodontist (gum specialist) for further evaluation and possible gum surgery.