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Gingivitis is a term no patient wants to hear when discussing their own dental hygiene. Gingivitis is a degenerative disease that left untreated, can cause significant tooth and gum deterioration. Treatment for gingivitis is relatively simple and can be performed in your dentist’s office.

Plaque and tarter that accumulate on the teeth provide an environment that allows bacteria to thrive and multiply. Bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and bleed. These conditions become more noticeable when you brush your teeth or even when you eat. These are early signs of gingivitis.

Gingivitis is easily treated by scaling and polishing the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress and the roots will need a planing. What’s 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 smoothening the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure.

As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and planing is performed 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.