Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy

Non-surgical therapy removes plaque and calculus by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and by treating conditions that encourage gum disease. This type of treatment may be all that's needed, especially when periodontal disease is caught early. You may also need to have certain procedures, such as replacing worn fillings or crowns with overhanging margins that can accumulate plaque, taken care of before periodontal therapy can begin.

Scaling and Root Planing:

Scaling is a type of cleaning that removes plaque and calculus from the teeth at and slightly below the gumline. Root planing smooths root surfaces, so the supportive tissues can better reattach to the tooth surface. Often, this will be done with local anesthesia so you can relax and feel nothing as we rehabilitate your gums.


Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease and the key to controlling or eliminating it is the effective reduction or elimination of the harmful bacteria. An adjunctive option to scaling and root planing may be provided in either pill form or applied directly to the infected area (gum pocket) in the form of antibiotic powder. An antibacterial mouth rinse also may be prescribed to help control the harmful effects of and reduce bacterial plaque.

Occlusal Adjustment:

An improper bite or a traumatic occlusion may increase bone destruction attached to such offending teeth. We may either choose to adjust your bite so that your teeth meet properly and function better or construct a custom bite guard or splint- a removable device that fits over upper or lower teeth - to protect teeth surfaces and relax tense jaw muscles.

Homecare after Periodontal Therapy

After your periodontal surgery appointment, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. Don’t eat anything for two hours following surgery. It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after surgery.

To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. Don’t take medication on an empty stomach or nausea may be a result. Apply an ice pack, twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off, for six hours, to further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Some slight bleeding is normal for a day or so following surgery. If bleeding persists, apply firm pressure with a gauze pad or bite on a tea bag for twenty minutes and elevate your head with pillows. Call our office if this doesn’t control bleeding or if bleeding increases. For the first forty-eight hours, restrict your diet to soft foods such as yogurt, ice-cream, cottage cheese, and soups until you can chew comfortably. Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first twenty- four hours following surgery.

Continue your normal homecare routine in the non-treated areas. You may gently rinse around the treated area with warm water or mouthwash, but frequent or vigorous rinsing must be avoided until healing has taken place, call us if pain or swelling persists or if you have any questions or concerns.