Non-Surgical Treatments For Gum Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans.”

No one wants to hear that they have a disease but treating this condition quickly can save your teeth and overall health.  Fortunately, a non-surgical treatment might keep you from having extensive and costly surgical treatment.

The Procedure

Scaling and root planing is a thorough cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and hard tartar deposits from deep periodontal pockets and to rid the affected gums of plaque bacteria and their destructive toxins. The goal is to stop the infection, eliminate pockets and allow the tissue to form a nice seal around the tooth.  Each case is different but the hygienist will usually take multiple appointments to provide these services.  Your comfort is important so often times, we use local anesthetics to numb each treated area as we go.

After Your Visit

Usually our patients are comfortable after the anesthetic wears off but we do recommend salt-water rinses and over the counter anti-inflammatories.  Careful brushing and flossing to keep bacteria from forming is the key to a speedy healing process.  Periodontal maintenance appointments at a three-month interval will help us reduce the recurrence of infection and examine your mouth carefully.

This is Not a Cure

Although scaling and root planing can prevent you from surgical treatments, this is not a cure for periodontal disease.  Like many other medical conditions, we are simply trying to control the symptoms and future problems.  Since the bone lost during an active flare-up of the disease will not grow back, think of this procedure as a treatment to stop or slow down the progression of the disease.

To learn more about the difference between gingivitis and periodontal disease, head over to our blog post for more information.