Effective daily oral care can help prevent gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease (or periodontal disease). So can seeing a dentist on a regular basis to get a professional tooth cleaning. But if plaque has built up to form tartar on the teeth, your gum tissue can become inflamed, detach and recede. The result may be a diagnosis of periodontitis (the more serious, irreversible stage of periodontal disease), requiring treatment from a periodontist.

Daily Oral Health

If your daily oral care routine at home doesn’t effectively remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, you could be at risk for periodontal disease. Rinsing twice a day with an antiseptic mouthwash such as LISTERINE® is a good complement to twice-daily brushing and daily flossing.

Dentist Visits

Do you see your dentist every six months? Do you get a regular check-up and cleaning to address plaque buildup and remove tartar, if any, from your teeth? If so, you’re doing a lot to reduce your susceptibility to periodontal disease.

Generalist vs. Specialist

A periodontist is someone who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. Consider a general dentist as more of a general practitioner of the mouth and a periodontist as someone who focuses on the gums and bone that support the teeth.

Treating Advanced Periodontal Disease

Advanced Periodontal disease requires extensive treatment. Deep cleaning methods (scaling and root planing) are usually necessary. The process of removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line is called scaling. Smoothing a tooth root to encourage gum tissue reattachment is root planing. Gum surgery may also be called for if the periodontal disease is sufficiently advanced.