Gum Disease (Periodontal) Therapy
Periodontal or gum disease happens when bacteria gets below the gum line and the attachment between the gum and tooth is lost. Three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only 3 out of 100 will ever get treated before its too late.
Gum disease is a silent, chronic, painless and communicable bacterial infection that often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction is unbearable and no longer able to be ignored. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and traditional treatment can hurt.
Scaling and root planing is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planing is sometimes followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials, systemic antibiotics, and host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis.
Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health.
While surgery may still be indicated for severely advanced periodontal cases, periodontal health should be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner.