Close up shot of gum inflammation. Cropped shot of a young woman showing red bleeding gums isolated on a gray background. Dentistry, dental care

Periodontal Treatments: From Scaling to Laser Therapy, Which is Right for You?

Gum disease is prevalent among Americans over the age of 30. Periodontal treatments are designed to prevent those issues. Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics in Vero Beach, FL helps patients understand the options available to preserve their teeth and maintain a healthy smile. As dental professionals, we make the process as seamless as possible to help patients make the best decisions for their oral health.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease affects the tissues that support the teeth. Periodontal disease usually starts with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis. Other common signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth mobility or tooth loss
  • Pus pockets between the teeth

Common Causes of Periodontal Disease

  • Plaque and tarter buildup — Plague is a sticky bacterial film that builds up on your teeth. If not removed regularly, it hardens into a substance called tartar, which can’t be removed through regular brushing.
  • Bacterial infection — Plaque provides a fertile breeding ground for bacteria. They release toxins that irritate your gums and cause inflammation.
  • Tobacco use — Smoking and using tobacco weakens your immune system’s ability to fight infection, which makes it harder for your body to fight gum disease.

How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?

Even though it’s not possible to cure gum disease, you can manage it with the proper treatment. That starts with visiting a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease. They diagnose your condition by measuring the pockets of your teeth to determine the extent of any bone loss. The depth of the pockets lets them know how much the disease has progressed.

 Periodontists usually start with non-surgical options to treat gum disease.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling involves your periodontist or a dental hygienist deep cleaning your teeth. The procedure removes plaque and tarter build-up from tooth surfaces above and below the gumline. Root planning smooths out root surfaces to prevent bacterial build-up and allow gums to reattach to the teeth.


If you have a gum infection, your periodontist may prescribe antibiotics to promote healing and control gum inflammation. They can prescribe oral medications or a topical solution to apply directly to your gums.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Regular antiseptic mouthwash use can reduce the bacteria on your teeth, which helps control infection. You can use one during your regular brushing and flossing routine.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a modern way to tackle periodontal disease. The minimally invasive procedure removes select pieces of infected tissue from the roots of your teeth, leaving healthy tissue untouched.  Afterward, the periodontist uses a laser to smooth out rough places on your teeth, including below the gumline. That decreases the chances of bacteria building up again and causing more infection. Laser therapy also helps stimulate gum tissue regeneration and reattachment.

Benefits of going with laser therapy include:

  • Less discomfort versus surgery
  • Quicker recovery
  • Minimal swelling and bleeding
  • Ability to target infected tissues

What are Surgical Options for Periodontal Disease?

Those experiencing more advanced stages of periodontal disease may need to have surgery. Below are some options your periodontist might present to remediate your issues.

Pocket Reduction (Flap Surgery)

Pocket reduction surgery involves making cuts in your gumline to create a flap. The periodontist uses this entrance to move gums back toward your teeth roots. Next, they clean out any tartar, bacteria, and plaque surrounding your roots, then smooth out any uneven places. Finally, the periodontists reposition the gums and close the cut with sutures.

Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP)

LANAP is an alternative to flap surgery. Periodontists use a laser to open the gumline, move gums, and remove buildup.

Bone Grafts

Dental bone grafts involve cleaning out infected tissue and placing bone grafting material into areas where the bone has eroded. That keeps teeth in place while the body naturally regenerates new bone.

Soft Tissue Grafts

Tissue grafts involve taking tissue from one part of the mouth and grafting it over recessed gum areas to cover exposed tooth roots.

Guided Tissue Regeneration

Periodontists use this technique to stimulate the regrowth of bone and gum and bone tissue. They place artificial membranes over the gums and newly grafted bone material.

Explore Options for Periodontal Disease

Vero Implants & Periodontics offers various dental services in Vero Beach. Learn more about how we can help you by scheduling an appointment today.