Very often, early stages of periodontal disease are effectively treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy. This involves the removal of bacterial plaque and tartar which is present at and below the gum line.
Periodontal “gum” disease is typically a chronic infection caused by bacteria that works its way under the gum line, destroying the gum and eventually the bone that supports the teeth. Because the bacteria can firmly attach to the tooth roots under the gum line, regular dental cleanings may be inadequate to resolve the infection. In these instances, root planing, commonly referred to as “deep cleanings”, becomes necessary.
Unfortunately, periodontal infections are usually silent, and can be present for many years, without any significant symptoms like pain. This is why regular visits to your periodontist are important especially if other health problems are present, like heart problems or diabetes. However, subtle signs such as red or swollen gums, gums that bleed when brushed or flossed, chronic bad breath or loose teeth can alert you to the presence of gum disease and the need to see a periodontist.