How Periodontal Disease Is Treated by a General Dentist

Gum Disease Centerville, UT

Periodontal disease, also commonly referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the gum tissues and the bones that surround teeth. It is considered to be the major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is often painless and develops gradually, so an individual may not know that the infection exists. Read on to find out how your dentist can treat periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque which always forms on people’s teeth. These bacteria can create toxins that may end up damaging the gums as well as the bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontal diseases range from gingivitis (early stage of the disease) to more chronic and advanced forms. If a person has gingivitis, the gums may become red and swollen, and they usually bleed easily. However, at this stage, the disease is still reversible.

It can usually be eliminated by professional cleaning by a dental provider, followed by careful daily brushing and flossing. The more advanced forms often require cleanings that go more deeply below the gumline. There are several effective treatments for periodontal disease. Some of the factors that may determine the ideal type of treatment include the stage of the disease and a patient’s overall health. How a patient may have responded to earlier treatments may also be taken into consideration.

Professional dental cleaning

During a checkup, the dentist or hygienist will get rid of plaque and tartar from below and above the gumline of all teeth. People are often advised to schedule professional dental cleanings at least twice a year. But if a person has some signs of gum disease, the dentist may recommend them more than twice a year. But people should know that they are not a treatment option for active gum disease but rather a vital preventive measure.

Scaling and root planing

This is a deep cleaning procedure that is often done under a local anesthetic. It may require one or more visits to complete. Scaling involves scraping off all the plaque and tartar from below and above the gumline. Root planing, on the other hand, involves smoothing out the teeth roots. It often helps the gums reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing helps the pockets to shrink and gum tissue to heal.

Medications may also be recommended to help control pain, infection, or to assist in healing. At the next appointment, the dentist will measure the depth of the pockets to determine the effect of the procedure. At this point, most patients only require preventive care. But if the pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, surgery may be recommended. It can help prevent tooth loss.


Periodontal disease can usually be treated successfully. One effective treatment option for periodontal disease is scaling and root planing. But good dental care at home is vital to help keep it from recurring or becoming more serious. If you want to find out more about the various treatment options for periodontal disease, talk to your dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Paul M. Huffaker, DMD at (385) 249-5187 for an appointment in our Centerville office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Gum Disease in Centerville, UT.

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