Flagstaff Smiles

How to Treat Periodontal Disease

October 28, 2021
7 Min Read
How to Treat Periodontal Disease

Almost 70% of Americans will develop periodontal disease — gum disease in the form of gingivitis or periodontitis — during their lifetime. In the form of gingivitis, periodontal disease is easily treated and reversed; it doesn’t need to be a serious medical issue. If it progresses to periodontitis, though, it can result in the destruction of gum tissue and even tooth loss.

The good news is that there is an entire dental specialization that deals specifically with treating periodontal disease and restoring and protecting the health of your gums. That specialization is called periodontics. In a way more specialized than general dentists at a dental office near you, periodontists use several different types of periodontics treatment near you.

If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis usually caused by plaque buildup, you may be experiencing: red, tender and swollen gums; bloody gums while brushing and flossing; a foul taste in your mouth; and persistent bad breath. You can reverse gingivitis by renewing your commitment to daily dental hygiene habits: brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, attending dental checkups twice a year, receiving all recommended dental treatment and having your teeth cleaned annually (or as directed). If that gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, on the other hand, merely renewing your daily dental hygiene habits will not be enough to restore your gums to good health. At that point, receiving periodontal disease treatment from Flagstaff Smiles will be essential to restore the integrity and health of your gums and teeth. Here is an introduction to the types of available gum disease treatment in Flagstaff.

Best Periodontal Disease Treatments

Root planing

If you’ve undergone professional teeth cleaning by a dentist in Flagstaff, you’ve experienced root planing to some extent. Root planing is the process of removing tartar (plaque that has hardened onto your teeth and roots) from teeth and the roots of teeth. During teeth cleaning, hygienists remove tartar from below the edge of your gums. Dentists who specialize in periodontics in Flagstaff perform root planing to remove tartar and bacteria below the gum line and on the roots of your teeth. Doing so will slow the progression of periodontitis and help the gums that receded from your teeth to re-attach to the roots of your teeth.

Gingival grafts

If progressive periodontal disease has caused your gums to recede significantly, the resulting exposure of your roots can result in significant tooth sensitivity and vulnerability to tooth decay affecting your roots and the further acceleration of periodontal disease. One form of periodontal disease treatment near you is to relocate tissue from the roof of your mouth, for example, to your gums to restore receded gums and to protect the roots of your teeth. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia.


A gingivectomy is essentially the opposite of a gingival graft and is a procedure conducted using soft tissue lasers. Those soft tissue lasers are used to remove infected gum tissue from your gums. Laser-based treatment offers the advantages of being incredibly precise (meaning that healthy tissue will be preserved and undisturbed) and capable of killing bacteria present in the gums as well. Laser-based treatment also produces little to no bleeding, meaning that the risk of infection and recovery time will be sharply reduced. Gingivectomies are conducted on patients with relatively severe gum disease that has caused significant gum recession.

Crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is a specific application of the gingivectomy treatment method that does more than just eliminate infected gum tissue. Many people who have suffered gum and tooth deterioration as the result of periodontitis have insufficient natural tooth matter to hold a dental crown or filling to repair a cavity. In those situations, using lasers to remove infected gum tissue will simultaneously treat your periodontitis and increase the tooth surface to support a crown or receive a filling. Dental crowns will protect your teeth from infection and damage while replacing any lost structural strength. Fillings will arrest the progress of tooth decay to, hopefully, eliminate the need for a tooth extraction.

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