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Gum disease advice

Gum disease treatment

Once you have established the cause of gum disease and recognised the symptoms, your next step is to discuss what gum disease treatment is required. There are a number of types of treatment for gum disease; what you receive will be dependent on the extent of the problem. The main objective is to not only stabilise the gum disease but also to try and prevent further progression or relapse.

Your specialist periodontist will ask you to detail your symptoms and talk through your medical history. This will help to generate a better understanding of the problem and its magnitude. After a thorough examination it is likely x-rays will be taken to help determine the condition of the teeth and bone structure. In some instances, if the infection is caught early, then they may be able to provide treatment for gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be reversed by removing the plaque buildup and maintaining effective oral health at home. Gingivitis treatment is essential to ensuring your bacterial infection does not develop into periodontitis.

How is periodontal disease treated?

Gum disease treatment will usually be carried out by a specialist and a specialist led team who are qualified in the treatment and care of conditions such as periodontal disease. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist periodontist who can provide you with a detailed assessment and gum disease treatment.

Having been diagnosed with periodontal disease by your practitioner, the next step is to discuss the process of how to treat gum disease effectively. If caught in the early stages, the treatment will involve a procedure called scaling and root surface debridement. This requires a special technique of removing the plaque and calculus from the pockets and root surfaces of the teeth. This initial course of treatment aims to stabilise the disease allowing for long term maintenance.

However, more advanced cases require detailed treatment. This can involve laser treatment, surgical treatment and/or medication depending on what is deemed the best treatment for each individual.

The treatment undertaken depends on the extent you are suffering with gum disease. Your dentist or specialist will discuss the necessary course of action for you before beginning with any treatment.

Different types of treatments

Deep Cleaning

If gum disease that has affected the bone support has been detected then a type of deep cleaning, known as non-surgical periodontal therapy or root surface debridement will be required. This involves cleaning under the gums to remove the plaque bacteria and any hard calculus deposits from the root surfaces. This treatment is normally carried out using local anaesthetic for patient comfort. As well as the traditional ultrasonic and hand instruments, laser treatment is often used as an adjunctive treatment.


If your gum disease is very severe, you may require specialist gum surgery. There are many different types of gum surgery and the type you need will be discussed based on your individual requirements.

Antibiotics and other Medication

Medications may be prescribed in conjunction with a deep cleaning treatment. Antibiotics, alone, are not considered an effective way of treating periodontitis but are still used in specific cases of gum disease. In some instances, medications may be administered to reduce the need for surgery over a longer period of time. Over the counter pain relief may be recommended if patients are suffering with a great deal of pain.

Prevent plaque buildup

Having detailed the many types of gum disease treatment available, it’s important to note the ways in which you can prevent periodontitis and other forms of infections. Adhering to the following measures will ensure effective oral hygiene.

  • Attend your dental examinations as recommended by your dentist.
  • Brush the gum line and each tooth twice daily (before bed and on one other occasion). Brush for at least 2 minutes. Ask which toothbrush is best for you and the technique you should use.
  • Clean daily between the teeth before brushing, using floss in tight spaces and interdental brushes for larger spaces.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste with at least 1350ppm Fluoride, spit out after brushing and do not rinse to maintain fluoride concentration
  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce the frequency and amount of sugary foods and drinks