Gum disease, more appropriately called periodontal disease, is not just one disease. It refers to several different diseases with one common cause: bacteria in dental plaque.
A professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. By scheduling regular checkups — twice a year — early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition.
If gum disease is more advanced, we can perform scaling and root planning to treat diseased periodontal pockets and gum infection. Our dental hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, tartar and food debris above and below the gum line, and hand scales the tooth and root surfaces to make them smooth and disease free. Laser treatments are also sometimes used to remove tartar deposits.
If periodontal pockets are more than 5 millimeters deep, that is, if you have moderate to severe periodontitis, Dr. Choi may perform gingival flap surgery to reduce periodontal pockets, as well as bone grafting to restore lost bone.