Periodontal Disease is an inflammation response of the supporting gingiva and bone structures surrounding each tooth caused by plaque, smoking, and/or genetics. It can be exacerbated by illness or disease that compromises the immune system. Treatments of periodontal disease depending on the severity and can be surgical or nonsurgical. Nonsurgical treatment (scaling and root planning) is treated by our hygienists.
Scaling and Root Planning is a way to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. It is the removal of plaque. Plaque build up can lead to infection of the gums (gingivitis) and causes swelling, redness and bleeding. 4 mm pockets and larger are considered periodontal pockets and may lead to bone loss and periodontal disease. In this case, scaling and root planning is recommended. Once the plaque is removed the gums can begin to heal. Damage caused by periodontal disease never fully heals, as bone loss is irreversible.
Scaling and root planning is typically done by quadrant and in two visits. The plaque is removed by deep scaling and the root of the tooth is also scaled. With the dentist’s approval, your hygienist may also place an antibiotic called Arestin into the pockets if infection is present. The patient will then be on a 3 month recall for Periodontal Maintenance.
If the periodontal disease is severe enough to need surgery, the patient would be referred to a Periodontist.