Gum Disease Treatment

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a bacterial infection that can destroy the soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. The most common types of periodontal disease include:


Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease that affects only the gum tissue. Gingiva, commonly referred to as gums, is the soft tissue at the floor of the oral cavity (mouth) that covers the roots of the teeth.

Gingivitis may result from plaque (a sticky substance made up of bacteria) buildup on teeth and may lead to red, swollen gums that are prone to bleeding while brushing. Injury or trauma to the gums, due to improper brushing technique and certain medical conditions, may increase your risk of developing gingivitis.

The disease is reversible at this stage. However, if left untreated, it may progress to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis.


Periodontitis occurs from a progression of gingivitis and affects the tissues supporting the teeth, resulting in loss of bone and the tooth itself. The periodontium refers to the tissue that surrounds and supports the root of the teeth. Periodontitis usually develops due to poor oral hygiene.
This stage of the disease is irreversible; the damage to the bone or surrounding tissues cannot be reversed. Complications associated with periodontitis include risk of heart attack or stroke, low birth weight babies, poorly controlled diabetes, and other serious health problems. Regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups can greatly reduce your chance of developing periodontitis.

Periodontal treatment methods depend on the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth.

If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings at Total Smiles Dental Practice will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings.

If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb.

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Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.