Gum Treatments

Non-surgical therapy

Periodontal health is often accomplished through non-surgical periodontal treatment, including scaling and root debridement (a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets), followed by adjunctive therapy, as needed on an individual basis. Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root debridement, many patients do not require any further active treatment. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal anatomy damaged by periodontal disease and to facilitate oral hygiene practices.

Periodontal surgery

Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed and pockets develop. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted. If you're diagnosed with periodontal disease, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired or stabilized with non-surgical treatment.

Your periodontist has measured the depth of your periodontal pockets. A surgical procedure may be recommended because you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine.

During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria, before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This encourages the gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone.

A regenerative procedure may be recommended in selective cases, when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. During this procedure, the gum tissue is folded back and the disease-causing bacteria are removed. Membranes, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body's natural ability to regenerate bone and gum tissue.


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