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256 Roseberry St, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865 Located Near St. Luke's Hospital - Warren Campus

What is Gum Disease?

Young man with healthy attractive smile

Gum disease is an oral health condition that occurs when acidic plaque buildup at and below the gums irritates and damages the soft tissue, breaking down connective structures. In the earliest stages, gum disease may be referred to as gingivitis. This mild form of the condition has few if any side effects, and it is not likely to be recognized by an untrained observer. However, your dentist will be able to recognize the warning signs and provide effective treatment to prevent gum disease from becoming more severe. If gum disease is not treated in the earliest stages, it will develop into the more severe form of the condition, called periodontitis, that has been linked to serious oral and overall health concerns. Severe gum disease is much more difficult to treat, and it will require regular maintenance for the rest of your life to prevent recurrence.

Is Professional Gum Disease Treatment Necessary?

Closeup of patient with receding gums

Whether you have a mild case of gingivitis or the most severe case of periodontitis, you need help from your dentist and dental hygienist to achieve and maintain renewed oral health. For mild cases of gingivitis, more frequent professional cleanings and improved at-home hygiene may be all you need to renew your oral health. For more advanced cases, we will likely use scaling and root planing in addition to more frequently professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment Options

Closeup of patient receiving laser gum disease treatment

We offer both traditional and laser assisted scaling and root planing treatments for those patients who are struggling with poor oral health due to gum disease.

Traditional Scaling & Root Planing

For moderate or advanced cases of gum disease, combined scaling and root planing services may be necessary in addition to more frequent professional teeth cleanings. Scaling is the removal of the existing plaque and tartar buildup as well as damaged dental structures. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to avoid or limit potential plaque buildup and risk for reinfection. These treatments are traditionally performed using metal tools to remove tissue, and stitches to repair any damage to the soft tissue. While this treatment is effective, it can lead to an increased risk for reinfection for those patients who are already struggling with gum disease.

Laser Scaling & Root Planing

This is a much gentler treatment method. It allows us to remove plaque and tartar buildup while simultaneously cauterizing soft tissue and smoothing tooth roots. This treatment can be completed quickly with less discomfort and little to no bleeding. Additionally, most people make a complete recovery within just a few days of treatment. Best of all, those with gum disease have significantly less risk for reinfection following laser scaling and root planing.

Learn More About Laser Periodontal Therapy