We want to help all patients avoid gum disease because this is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. People with gum disease are also more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses. However, if you establish the habit of good dental home care and regular checking and cleaning dental appointments, you can avoid this serious condition.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. If the disease progresses as the pocket between the tooth and gums gets filled with tartar, bacteria, or plaque, it causes irritation to the surrounding tissue. When these remain, they cause gum damage which eventually affects the bone that supports the teeth.
Advanced disease means a periodontal cleanup is needed; this is called a scaling and planing (deep cleaning). While the gum is numbed, scaling is the removal of the irritants above and below the gum line. The planing is smoothing the root surface rough spots. This procedure helps pockets to shrink and gum tissue to heal. To control the infection and the healing, medications, rinses, and electric toothbrushes may be needed.