Periodontal (gum) disease is a pervasive oral health condition that can wreak havoc on a person’s oral health. This incidence of gum disease is staggering, too. Estimates state that up to 80% of the adult population in the United States will develop some form of gum disease in a lifetime. Our team at Evers & Gardner Dental provides periodontal therapy and maintenance to help our patients reclaim their oral health.

The Dangers of Gum Disease

Did you know that periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adulthood? It’s true. When gum disease progresses, it attacks and destroys the structures that support teeth. The infection associated with periodontal disease can erode gum tissue as well as bone. The loss of bone and gingival tissue can contribute to systemic tooth loss that will ultimately require prosthetics like bridges or dentures to replace lost tooth structure.

In addition to the many negative effects gum disease has on oral health, it is important to note that this common condition can contribute to chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Maintaining gum health is imperative for preventing the onset of gum disease. If a person has been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is important to seek professional treatment quickly.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

We offer non-surgical treatment options for the management of gum disease. When patients develop advanced gum disease, they will have tartar accumulation along the gum line, below the gums, and along the surfaces of teeth – including the roots. Since surface debris like tartar contributes to the inflammation and infection of the gingiva, it is important that this substance is thoroughly removed.

Periodontal cleanings involve professional prophylaxis of the visible surface of teeth and the gum line as well as removing infected tissue and debris below the surface of the gums. Cleaning tartar that has accumulated beneath the gum line can help prevent the progression of the disease and its side effects like tooth loss.

A special form of periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing involves subgingival cleaning. Using tiny dental instruments, the innermost areas of the gums are accessed and all tartar accumulation below the gums is gently removed. The area being cleaned is irrigated to remove all remnants of debris. Then the roots of teeth are filed gently to ensure that their surfaces are smooth, which will help prevent the attachment of new tartar.

Other treatment options might include the need for improved oral hygiene at home, mouth rinses, and prescription medications like antibiotics.

Periodontal Maintenance

Once you have received treatment for gum disease, it is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations closely – especially when it comes to keeping follow up appointments for treatment. When we perform periodontal prophylaxis on patients with gum disease, it might be necessary for these patients to receive more than the standard two dental cleanings each year. Some people may require two standard dental cleanings per year plus periodontal cleanings like scaling and root planing to control infected gums. Part of periodontal maintenance also involves patients making a commitment to their oral health. Those who have struggled with gum disease need to practice vigilant oral hygiene.

Your gum health is important to our team at Evers & Gardner Dental. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or suspect you have it, call our office to schedule a checkup.


When are scaling and root planing recommended?

Scaling and root planing is a standard treatment protocol for patients who have gum disease. This treatment is a deep cleaning of the gingiva and the roots of teeth to control the progression of periodontal (gum) disease. Scaling and root planing is recommended when the depth and width of periodontal pockets exceeds a certain size. Periodontal pockets form when tartar accumulates along the gum line, in between where the gums meet the crown of a tooth. These pockets will deepen and widen if tartar continues to accumulate. Scaling and root planing involves using instruments to remove tartar along the gums and in between teeth.

After tartar is removed, tiny filing instruments are used to smooth the surfaces of the roots of teeth. This element of scaling and root planing is beneficial for preventing the new accumulation of tartar. When the roots of teeth are roughened, it gives tartar a surface to which it can adhere. If a person’s gum disease affects most of the gingiva, scaling and root planing will be performed in increments.

What is periodontal cleaning?

Periodontal cleaning or “periodontal prophylaxis” can include supragingival cleaning, which cleans the visible surfaces of teeth and just at the gum line. There’s subgingival cleaning as well, which is cleaning and removing debris below the gum line and along the roots of teeth.

Another phase of periodontal cleaning that accompanies subgingival cleaning is a treatment protocol called “root planing”. This element of a periodontal cleaning prevents the attachment of new tartar on the root surfaces of teeth by smoothing the roots of teeth. It’s more difficult for tartar to attach to smooth surfaces. These treatments are often performed in phases by dividing the mouth into quadrants. Treating periodontal disease with professional cleanings is a non-surgical method for managing many cases of gum disease.

Will my mouth be sensitive after this procedure?

After periodontal cleaning such as scaling and root planing, sensitivity is common. Fortunately, this sensitivity will subside within a couple days of treatment. Most patients who need to manage post-cleaning sensitivity feel better with an over-the-counter pain reliever.

What is periodontal maintenance?

When a person develops more advanced forms of gum disease, he or she will need to maintain their gum health with regular care. Not only should patients with a history of gum disease receive traditional dental cleanings, but they should also receive periodontal cleanings such as scaling and root planing, too.

Managing gum disease is important for preventing its further progression, as this condition is very destructive to the entire oral health system when left unmanaged and untreated. Advanced gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adulthood because it attacks the structures (gums and bone) that support teeth.