Visit the dentist
Regular visits to your dentist are an essential part of good oral hygiene routine. Always tell your dentist if you are suffering, or have suffered from any unusual oral symptoms or problems between appointments.
Scaling and polishing
Scaling and polishing is the removal of tartar and plaque to reduce and prevent inflammation of the gums, and thus treat gum disease. It should be done by trained dental professionals.
If you have gingivitis, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth thoroughly.
If gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, you may need more extensive scaling to remove plaque and tartar from the pockets that may have formed. This can take several appointments with the dentist or hygienist. You may need to have your gums numbed before the scaling, and you may feel a little discomfort afterwards. Your dentist or hygienist will monitor the size of the pockets during the following months to ensure the treatment has been successful and the periodontitis is not getting any worse.
If your periodontitis is more serious, the pockets may be too deep for a dentist or hygienist to clean simply by scaling. You may need gum surgery, which can be carried out by your dentist. Your dentist may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specialises in treating periodontitis. He or she will carry out more extensive treatment which may include gum surgery.