Comprehensive Guide to Periodontal Disease Treatment

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a prevalent dental issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It is an inflammatory condition of the gums and supporting tissues caused by bacterial infections. If left unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and other severe oral health complications. At Family Dental of Westborough, our dental professionals in Westborough, MA, aim to assist you in understanding the periodontal disease treatment process and help maintain your oral health.

The complete periodontal disease treatment process requires close collaboration between the patient and dental professionals. It begins with education and prevention, followed by diagnosis, treatment planning, and comprehensive periodontal therapy. In this article, we will provide a detailed overview of the periodontal disease treatment process, focusing on the essential steps every patient should take to achieve optimal oral health and prevent future gum disease.

The first step in treating periodontal disease is educating patients on the root causes, risks, and prevention measures. Good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, are crucial to preventing bacterial buildup that leads to gum disease. Additionally, regular dental checkups and cleanings allow dental professionals to catch any signs of periodontal disease early and recommend appropriate treatment.

When a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease, the dental professional will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs. Depending on the severity of the disease, various treatment options may be recommended to manage the condition and prevent its progression effectively. Non-surgical treatments, such as scaling and root planing, are common procedures to remove plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line. In more severe cases, surgical interventions such as periodontal pocket reduction, gum grafting, or even dental implants may be required to restore the health of the teeth and gums.

It’s crucial for patients to understand that maintaining good oral health even after the completion of periodontal therapy is vital to prevent a recurrence of the disease. This requires consistent adherence to proper dental hygiene practices and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings and periodontal maintenance.

Periodontal disease treatment is an essential component of comprehensive dental care. By understanding this process and actively participating in your oral health journey, you can effectively combat gum disease and safeguard the health of your teeth and gums for a lifetime. Follow along with our in-depth guide to learn more about the periodontal disease treatment options and the crucial steps in achieving optimal oral health.

Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors

To better comprehend the periodontal disease treatment process, it’s essential to understand the factors that cause gum disease and the symptoms you should watch for. Periodontal disease is primarily caused by a buildup of plaque – a sticky film of bacteria – on the teeth and gums. If plaque isn’t removed through regular dental hygiene practices, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The buildup of plaque and tartar leads to gum inflammation (gingivitis), which, if untreated, can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss.

The symptoms of periodontal disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, tooth sensitivity, receding gums, and loose or shifting teeth. There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease, such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes (in women), certain medications, and genetic predisposition. Understanding and managing these risk factors can significantly contribute to the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.

Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment Options

In the early stages of gum disease, dental professionals typically recommend non-surgical periodontal treatments to manage the condition effectively. These treatments are aimed at removing the plaque and tartar buildup responsible for the infection and promoting proper healing of the gums.

1. Scaling and Root Planing: This is a deep-cleaning procedure that involves the removal of plaque and tartar from teeth and gum line and smoothens the root surfaces to help the gums reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing may be performed using hand instruments, ultrasonic devices, or a combination of both. This treatment is typically performed under local anesthesia to minimize patient discomfort, and it may require multiple appointments to achieve the desired results.

2. Antibiotic Treatment: Local or systemic antibiotics may be prescribed by a dental professional to reduce inflammation and control the bacterial infection. Topical antibiotics may include prescription mouthwashes or gels applied directly to the affected areas, while systemic antibiotics are oral medications taken for a specified period. Depending on the severity of the infection and patient response, a combination of these treatments may be recommended.

3. Disease Prevention and Maintenance: After initial non-surgical treatments, patients must diligently follow their dentist’s recommendations for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing the recurrence of gum disease. This may include more frequent dental cleanings, the use of specialized toothbrushes or dental floss, antibacterial mouthwashes, and the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking.

Surgical Periodontal Treatment Options

In more severe cases of periodontal disease, where non-surgical treatments fail to effectively manage the infection or the damage to the teeth and gums is extensive, dental professionals may recommend surgical treatment options. These procedures aim to reduce the periodontal pockets, regenerate lost gum and bone tissues, and restore the function and appearance of the teeth and gums.

1. Gum Graft Surgery: When gum recession is severe, exposed tooth roots may become highly sensitive or prone to decay. In gum graft surgery, healthy gum tissue is taken from other parts of the mouth (typically the palate) and grafted onto the receded areas, covering the exposed tooth roots and restoring gum tissue.

2. Periodontal Pocket Reduction: This procedure involves the surgical folding back of the gums to remove bacteria and plaque buildup, followed by smoothing the bone surfaces to eliminate irregularities. Next, the gums are repositioned to fit snugly around the teeth, reducing the depth of the periodontal pockets and facilitating proper healing.

3. Dental Implants: In cases where tooth loss has resulted from advanced periodontal disease, dental implants can serve as a long-term replacement for missing teeth. Implants involve the insertion of a titanium post into the jawbone, which then fuses with the surrounding bone to provide a stable foundation for a crown, bridge, or denture, mimicking a natural tooth’s appearance and function.


Periodontal disease is a complex oral health condition that requires a comprehensive approach to treatment. By understanding the various treatment options available and working closely with dental professionals, you can effectively manage and overcome gum disease, safeguarding your oral health and well-being. 

At Family Dental of Westborough, we are committed to providing the highest level of dental care to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. You can trust us to deliver the best periodontal disease treatment for you or your family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced dental professionals in Westborough, MA.

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