When periodontal disease is identified early on, conservative or non-surgical treatment options combined with improved oral hygiene practices can restore periodontal health. While regular professional cleanings are sufficient for maintaining periodontal health in patients without gum disease, deeper cleanings and other non-surgical methods of treatment are recommended once gingivitis is present. The American Academy of Periodontology emphasizes the importance of using the least invasive and most cost-effective approaches to achieve periodontal health. Deeper cleanings, such as Scaling and Root Planing, are non-surgical procedures that serve as the primary defense against the progression of periodontal disease.
Scaling and root planing involve the careful removal of plaque and tartar that have accumulated below the gumline, followed by smoothing the tooth root surfaces. By mechanically eliminating these agents, which trigger an inflammatory response to plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins, the advancement of gum disease can be stopped.
Besides removing plaque and tartar, antimicrobial medication can be applied under the gumline or systemic medications can be used in conjunction with the procedure to further reduce the bacterial population. In cases where non-surgical treatments do not yield the desired results, surgery may be recommended to halt the progression of periodontal disease and address any damage that has occurred.