Don't wait to see your dentist if you think you might have gingivitis. The degenerative disease can cause significant tooth and gum deterioration if left untreated. If you do have gingivitis, treating the condition is relatively simple and can be performed by your hygienist or dentist.

Bacteria thrive and multiply when plaque and tarter accumulate on the teeth. Bacteria can cause gums to become inflamed and bleed, and those conditions become more noticeable when you eat or when you brush your teeth. Inflamed and bleeding gums are and early sign of gingivitis.

Scaling and polishing are early treatments for patients who have gingivitis. If the disease is not treated early, the roots of the teeth may need a planing to get rid of the gingivitis. Patients might ask what is the difference between scaling and root planing? Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surface. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces to remove the infected tooth structure.

Scaling and planing is a non-surgical procedure that is administered without anesthesia. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis may make it necessary to numb the area. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one section of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.