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Periodontitis is an infection of the gingival tissue (gums) including bone loss around the teeth. When gingivitis is left untreated and bacterial levels are not properly addressed, it will progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis has been linked to heart disease and strokes, preterm low birth weight, and poorly controlled blood sugar in diabetic patients.
Gum Therapy is accomplished by removing the plaque through a deep-cleaning method known as scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease. Adjunctive medications may be recommended to help reduce the bacterial load subgingivally, including mouth rinses and localized antibiotics (this infection, after all, is caused by bacteria).