You have need of periodontal tooth scaling. This procedure is similar to typical tooth scaling during a routine oral hygiene visit, but it is different in the following ways:

  • Deep pockets existing around your teeth require deeper than normal scaling. The deep gum pockets block vision of the tooth root structure. Small scaling instruments (either manual or ultrasonic) will be carefully placed into the gum pockets, and systematic smoothing of the tooth root surfaces will be accomplished. Debris that has collected on tooth surfaces will be removed along with diseased soft tissue.
  • Deep tooth scaling and gum curettage requires significant time and expertise. Usually only one or two segments of your mouth will be treated during each appointment. Several appointments will be needed to complete the therapy.
  • Your gums and teeth will be slightly uncomfortable for a few days after the deep scaling, but they will gradually feel normal

again. After the gums have healed a few days, you will be able to maintain good oral hygiene much better than in the past.

  • Your gum tissue may shrink somewhat as it heals. This condition is desirable because it reduces the depth of the pockets and allows you to clean the areas under the gums.

Periodontal tooth scaling is the most conservative method to treat periodontal disease. We look forward to slowing or stopping the disease with this procedure, and we will keep you advised of the status of your periodontal condition as it heals.


The following information describes the various treatments for periodontal disease. They are listed from least to most aggressive:

  1. No treatment. If you elect to do nothing to treat your periodontal diseases, it will continue to progress slowly until you lose the involved teeth. Routine dental hygiene appointments can increase the possibility of increased tooth longevity.
  2. Increased frequency of oral hygiene appointments. Although normally tooth cleanings or scalings are performed once every six months, patients with minimal periodontal disease can often control its progress by increasing the frequency of scalings and exams to once every two to four months.
  3. Deep scaling, soft tissue curettage (removal of inflamed tissue) and increased frequency of oral hygiene appointments. Removal of tartar from the deepest areas of the periodontal pockets and removal of the diseased soft tissue by scaling, usually decreases pocket depth and slows or stops periodontal disease. Routine oral hygiene scaling, polishing, and examination is increased to once every two to four months. Systemic and local antibiotics and rinses may be included in the therapy.
  4. Periodontal surgery. In advanced cases it may be necessary to gently reflect the gums from the underlying bone tissue, clean out the infection, sometimes add artificial bone fill in deficient areas, and replace the gums to allow healing.

In addition to the above treatments, patients should improve their oral hygiene procedures and diet.

Smoking is also an extremely negative factor related to periodontal disease, and it should be reduced or stopped.


Periodontal disease is a slowly progressing condition that eventually weakens the bone support of the teeth, resulting in tooth loss. Treatment of this condition can be surgical, in which the diseased gum tissue and bone are removed and/or reshaped to allow proper cleaning. Surgical therapy is faster and somewhat more predictable, but conservative therapy is effective as well.

If you elect conservative periodontal therapy, you must have an active role in carrying out the necessary procedures. The following are procedures necessary for conservative periodontal therapy:

  1. Education providing enough information for you to understand the disease.
  2. Oral hygiene instruction and upgrading of your oral cleaning habits.
  3. Professional scaling, planning, and polishing of your teeth on a routine schedule.
  4. Low level systemic antibiotic therapy to control the organisms causing periodontal disease.
  5. Antimicrobiologic rinses on a daily routine.
  6. Local antibiotics delivered to the most affected areas of your mouth.

Both surgical and conservative periodontal therapy work.