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How is Gum Disease Treated?

Dentist using a teeth model to explain the stages of periodontal (gum) diseaseGum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. It can vary in severity and treatment depending on its progress. We treat the disease by removing the source of the infection and then rebuilding and strengthening the tissue to work towards restoring the patient's oral health. Patients suffering from an advanced form of gum disease known as chronic periodontitis may find this process to be long but necessary. Working with our staff at Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond we can help you have a healthier mouth and then work to restore any damage that resulted including the possibility of replacing missing teeth with dental implants.

Gum disease is a problem that many adults face. For some, treatment may be as simple as a good dental cleaning. For others, the process can involve much more. We believe that gum disease is not discussed often enough. It has become such a common disorder that many patients even ignore the warning symptoms thinking they are typical. The reality is that gum disease is a huge problem, and is the main reason for adult tooth loss.

Treatment for gum disease can range with the severity of the issue. The goal is to remove harmful bacteria and induce healing. Treatment can include the following procedures:


Scaling is a term we use referring to the removal of hardened deposits of tartar or calculus. Tartar started as plaque but dried to a hardened material that is difficult to remove without the proper tools. Bacteria thrives in tartar, feeding on the sugars found in the blend and then producing an acid that deteriorates our teeth and infects our gums. We can remove tartar using a tool known as an ultrasonic scaler. It has a vibrating tip and a directed stream of oxygenated bubbles. As the bubbles burst against the tartar, the vibrating tip then lifts and removes the bacteria filled material. Often, we need to remove tartar from the surface of the teeth, along the gumline, and below the gumline. After using the ultrasonic scaler, we then use a hand scaling tool to check for any missed material. Patients with chronic periodontitis may require this treatment more frequently.

Pocket Reduction

Gum pockets are a result of gum disease. It is a pocket that develops as gum disease becomes more severe. It is the separation of the gum tissue from the teeth. Reducing the depth of the gum pocket involves a minimally invasive surgical treatment, in which we may make a small cut to fold the tissue down providing us the space to clean out and remove any bacteria at the base of the tooth. Once clean, we then close the tissue with a suture. This process removes the bacteria and induces a healing response from your own natural resources.

Crown Lengthening

Excessive gum tissue can be a source of continual gum disease. Patients can sometimes have folds or overhanging gum tissue that can trap and hide bacteria and food debris creating a perfect place for infection to rage. We can make small cuts to remove excessive tissue and then reshape the tissue to have smoother, healthier tissue.

To learn more about how Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond can help maintain and restore the health of your gums, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (804) 285-4867.
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