Gum Disease Info
Conventional Treatments for Gum Disease
Treatment options for periodontitis include deep cleaning, medications, and surgical options.
- Scaling and root planing are deep-cleaning methods used to remove plaque. In scaling, the dentist or dental hygienist scrapes tartar from above and below the gumline. In root planing, rough spots on the tooth root where germs gather are removed, helping to remove bacteria.
- Medications may include antimicrobial mouth rinse or antiseptic chips, gels, or microspheres placed in the gum pockets after scaling and root planing, which slowly release antibiotics over a period of time. Enzyme suppressants may also be prescribed to block the breakdown of gum tissue. Depending on the severity of gum disease, medications cannot always take the place of surgery.
- Flap surgery involves lifting back the gums and removing tartar. The gums are then sutured back in place so they fit snugly around the tooth again. Bone and tissue grafts may also be used to replace or encourage the growth of bone or gum tissue destroyed by periodontitis.