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Periodontal Therapy and Maintenance

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, your gums may be red, swollen and receding. They may also be full of pus, bleed easily when you brush and floss, and cause persistent bad breath. Without treatment, you could be at risk for tooth loss and associated health complications, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, and issues during pregnancy.

The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, at which point your symptoms are relatively mild. Routine cleanings and improved oral hygiene at home may reverse gingivitis. Once the disease progresses to periodontitis, you may need to begin periodontal therapy. Here’s what this entails.


The American Academy of Periodontology recommends pursuing the least invasive, most cost-effective treatment for periodontal disease. This is often accomplished with root planing and scaling, which are non-surgical treatments that may restore gum health without surgery.

Scaling is when plaque, tartar, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line. Root planing is the process of smoothing out rough spots on exposed tooth roots. These treatments help infected gum tissue to heal and discourage plaque from forming so the pockets around your teeth can shrink.

Followed by root planing and scaling, your dentist may recommend additional therapies, such as taking antibiotics, using medicated mouth rinses, and switching to an electric toothbrush. These measures help control the infection and promote healing.

However, if the pockets fail to heal after performing multiple root planing and scaling treatments, your dentist may recommend periodontal surgery to reduce pocket depths. You may receive a referral to a periodontist, a gum and supporting bone specialist who would perform your surgery.


Non-surgical periodontal therapy is effective for the majority of patients. However, most people with periodontitis will have this condition for the rest of their lives. Ongoing maintenance is required to sustain healthy gums and prevent flare-ups.

Fortunately, periodontal maintenance isn’t difficult to follow. First, your dentist will advise you to brush and floss daily using recommended techniques. This removes plaque and prevents it from hardening into tartar along the gum line, which can cause your infection to flare up.

Then, you will probably need professional maintenance cleanings four times a year. At these appointments, your dentist checks the pocket depths around your gums and performs a deep cleaning. If a flare-up is detected, root planing and scaling can bring it back under control.


Our Hazlet dentist is pleased to provide periodontal therapy and maintenance to our patients. We can help improve the health of your gums and preserve your beautiful smile for a lifetime! If you notice signs of periodontal disease, visit our dentist as soon as possible to begin the necessary treatment. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to avoid the need for surgery.

If you have any questions about periodontal disease, or you’re ready to schedule an appointment with us, please contact our Hazlet dentist office at (732) 497-3265.