For some patients, regular dental cleanings are not enough to keep their gums and mouth healthy. Healthy gums and bone around teeth can be obtained through various dental hygiene procedures completed by Dr. Carpenter's hygienists. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. The first step is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gum line. The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the occlusion, or bite may require adjustment.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums (4 to 6 millimeters or deeper) are present, it is difficult for the dentist or hygienist to thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar. Likewise, you may have trouble keeping these pockets clean and free of plaque. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed. Bone surgery may be used to rebuild or reshape bone that has been destroyed. Grafts of the patient's bone or artificial bone may be used, as well as special membranes. Dr. Carpenter often refers patients with moderate to severe periodontal disease to a gum specialist (periodontist).