Mary Ann Hanlon, DDS, MS
Practice Limited to Periodontics


Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease.  Your periodontist will evaluate your particular condition and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues.  The longer these irritants remain in the pocket, the more destruction they cause the gums and underlying bone.

If the disease is caught in the early stage of gingivitis,  one to two regular cleanings will be recommended.  You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.

If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing will be recommended.  It is usually done one half of the mouth at a time while the area is numb.  In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing).  This procedure helps gum tissues heal and pockets shrink.  Medications, special medicated mouth rinses and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.

If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean.  


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