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What is gum treatment?

There are many treatments for gum disease depending on the stage of disease and your overall health. The Department of Dental Medicine offers surgical and nonsurgical therapies to control bacterial growth and restore supportive tissues. 

Types of gum treatment

Gum surgery

Gum surgery is sometimes necessary to treat advanced periodontal disease. Surgical treatments for gum disease include:

  • Pocket reduction procedures—Used to reduce the pocket depth and eliminate existing bacteria to prevent the progression of periodontal disease.
  • Regenerative procedures—Membranes, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins are used to regenerate bone and tissue destroyed by periodontal disease.
  • Crown lengthening—Excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the tooth, reducing the look of a “gummy” smile.
  • Soft tissue grafts—Used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive receding of the gums.

Nonsurgical treatment

Nonsurgical gum treatments can help remove the plaque and infected gum tissue in the early stages of periodontal disease, while smoothing the damaged root surfaces. These treatments include scaling and root planning along with adjunctive therapy such as delivery of antimicrobials to prevent future growth of bacteria.

In most cases, surgery is not required. However, most patients require ongoing nonsurgical treatments to maintain proper gum health.