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Periodontal (Gum) Disease (cont.)

Periodontal (Gum) Disease Treatment

Patient Comments

If the dentist diagnoses periodontal disease, the first treatment will probably include scaling and root planing. More than one visit may be needed for this treatment. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line down to the bottom of each pocket.

  • A local anesthetic (lidocaine) may be needed to reduce discomfort.
  • The roots of the teeth are smoothed. Smoothing allows the gums to reattach to their roots.
  • The use of lasers, antibiotics, special mouth rinses, and various probiotics for the mouth may be needed.
  • If pockets are still present after scaling and planing, surgery may be needed.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease Prevention

Regular visits to the dentist for cleaning and X-ray films helps prevent periodontal disease. Inform the dentist of any health problems or current medications being taken. Teeth do not have to be lost to periodontal disease. With proper care, a person's teeth should last a lifetime.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease Picture

Picture of periodontal disease
Picture of periodontal disease
Previous contributing editors: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James Quinn, MD, Director of Research Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine University of California at San Francisco Medical Center.

Medically reviewed by Kenneth Rotskoff, MD, DDS; Board Certified Dentistry, Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery


"Gingivitis and periodontitis in adults: Classification and dental treatment"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2016
Medical Author:

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