How to Treat Periodontitis: A Comprehensive Guide About Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a challenging oral health condition characterized by severely inflamed gums. It’s also among the most common oral health diseases globally, especially among older adults. 

If you’re living with gum disease, you know how painful this condition can be. However, gum/periodontal treatment can help soothe swollen gums and make you feel more comfortable. Let’s look at how to treat periodontitis and what patients can expect. 


Periodontal disease affects over 47% of adults aged 30 and older and becomes even more common with age. This condition starts as gingivitis when the gums become swollen and red. If the gingivitis isn’t addressed, it can progress to periodontal disease. The gums will begin to recede and will bleed easily. Patients with periodontitis may also experience oral infections or even tooth loss in severe cases. 

Failing to brush and floss your teeth regularly will make you more susceptible to gum disease. Genetics also plays a role in the development of this condition. Experts estimate that the heritability of periodontitis is anywhere from 30 to 50%, which means that if your family members have periodontitis, you are more likely to develop it as well. 

Unfortunately, periodontitis is not curable, but it is manageable with good oral health care and regular visits to the dentist. For patients with severe gum disease, dental implants can help restore the structure of the teeth. 


Timely treatment can help you get the symptoms of periodontal disease under control. Learning how to tell if you have gum disease makes it easier to know when to go to the dentist. Here are some of the most important symptoms to watch out for:

  • Persistent bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Swollen, puffy gums
  • Gums that are tender or even painful to the touch
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Toothaches

When to Visit Your Dentist

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to determine whether you have periodontitis and discuss your treatment options. 

Your dentist appointment is perfect for asking questions and learning more about managing periodontitis. Here are some questions to discuss during the appointment: 

  • How is gum disease treated? 
  • How long does it take to treat periodontitis? 
  • What can I do at home to manage my periodontitis? 
  • What signs and symptoms should I watch out for? 

At Mr Dental Aesthetics, we understand that visiting the dentist for periodontitis can be overwhelming, especially if you struggle with a fear of the dentist. Dr. Mahnaz Rashti, the lead cosmetic dentist and periodontist in our Beverly Hills practice, works with patients with dental phobia. Dr. Rashti understands how stressful going to the dentist can be, so she takes an empathetic and educational approach to treatment. The focus is always on finding the right solutions to improve your oral health and get your smile looking great, with extra care to ensure you are comfortable and supported throughout treatment. 

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

Visually, it can be difficult for the average person to tell the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis. If you’re struggling with symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding, swelling, or discomfort, your dentist will perform a thorough examination to determine an accurate diagnosis. 

The process starts with a visual examination to identify any signs of periodontitis. They’ll also talk with you about your medical and dental history. They will ask you questions about your oral hygiene habits, whether or not you smoke, previous dental treatments you have, and your family oral health history. This information will help the dentist provide more personalized oral health guidance and make a more accurate diagnosis. 

Then, the dentist will use a small probe to measure the size of the gum pockets around your teeth. Healthy gums have small pockets that are just one to three millimeters in size, but patients with gum disease will usually have deeper pockets. 

As periodontitis progresses, it can cause bone loss in your teeth and jaw. Your dentist may suggest X-rays to assess potential structural damage to your mouth. X-rays can be done at the office during your appointment. 

The dentist will look at all of these factors holistically to determine whether or not you have periodontitis. If you are diagnosed with the condition, they will discuss your treatment options.


If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis, you might be wondering how to get rid of periodontal disease. While the disease isn’t fully curable, it is manageable with the proper periodontal treatment. You’ll need to work with your dentist to determine which treatment option is right for you. 

Nonsurgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Dr. Rashti offers a variety of nonsurgical treatment options for periodontal disease. These treatment options are usually best for patients with early- to mid-stage periodontitis. 

Nonsurgical treatment options for periodontitis include: 

  • Scaling and root planing: This is one of the most common treatments for patients with gum disease. It’s a comprehensive form of cleaning that helps remove plaque and tartar from under the gums, which reduces irritation. Scaling removes the plaque and tartar around the gum line, while root planing helps prevent bacteria from causing further irritation. 
  • Laser therapy: Laser therapy is an innovative new treatment option for patients with periodontitis. This treatment uses a tiny laser to remove damaged gum tissue and help keep the mouth healthy. 
  • Medicinal therapy: Your dentist may need to prescribe antibiotics and other gum disease treatments to prevent infection.

Surgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease

In cases where the gum disease is more advanced, surgical treatment might be necessary to restore your smile and keep your mouth healthy. Dentists will usually use nonsurgical treatments first before moving on to more invasive options. Here are some of the surgical treatment options used for periodontal disease. 

  • Osseous surgery: This procedure uses a small incision to open up the gum tissue and access the bone underneath. The dentist removes damaged tissue and reshapes the bone, preventing bacteria from building up and causing further infection. 
  • Soft tissue grafts: Periodontal disease can cause the gums to recede away from the teeth. A soft tissue graft takes tissue from other parts of the mouth to reconnect the gums to the teeth for more stability. 
  • Extractions: Advanced gum disease can result in loose or damaged teeth. When this happens, your dentist may conduct an extraction to remove the tooth safely. After an extraction, the dentist can make a plan to restore your smile with implants. 
  • Bone grafts: Since periodontitis can cause bone loss, bone grafts may be necessary to keep the structure of your mouth stable. This surgery involves adding bone material to your jaw for extra support. If you’ve experienced tooth loss as part of your periodontitis, bone grafts may be necessary for dental implants. 
  • Sinus lift: In some cases, a sinus lift may be necessary before dental implants are placed. As the name implies, this procedure will surgically lift the sinus membrane, which allows more room for a bone graft and implants. 

Home Remedies

Many people wonder how to cure periodontitis at home. Unfortunately, this condition requires professional treatment to keep your mouth healthy. There aren’t any home remedies that can replace a trip to the dentist. However, there are some things you can do at home to keep the symptoms of gum disease under control. These include: 

  • Regular brushing and flossing: The best thing you can do to manage your gum disease at home is to maintain a healthy routine. You should brush at least twice daily with an electric toothbrush and floss at least once per day. Your dentist can show you how to brush and floss your teeth effectively. 
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash: This helps kill bacteria that build up in the mouth and irritate the gums. 
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables ensures that your gums get the nutrients they need to heal. 


Failing to treat periodontitis can have disastrous consequences. Not only can your smile deteriorate, but you can also experience further health complications. Your oral health affects your overall health, as bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and contribute to disease. 

Here are some of the things that can happen if you don’t treat periodontitis: 

  • Bad breath: The bacteria that causes gum disease also causes bad breath. This is unpleasant for you and those around you and can interfere with your social life. 
  • Tooth loss: If periodontitis isn’t treated, the gum pockets will widen, leading to loose teeth. Over time, these loose teeth could fall out. 
  • Difficulty eating or speaking: Some patients with advanced periodontitis have difficulty eating and speaking. That is because gum disease can be very painful and cause bone and tooth loss. When you’re missing teeth, it can be difficult to articulate certain words. A lack of bone density can also make it challenging to chew correctly or eat food with hard, crunchy, or sticky textures. 
  • Full-body health issues: Because oral health affects your overall health, gum disease could increase your risk for severe chronic health conditions. For example, periodontitis could increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, and more. 
  • Pregnancy complications: If you’re pregnant, gum disease could increase your risk of complications. Maternal gum disease is associated with low birth rate, preterm birth, and preeclampsia. 


There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing periodontitis in the future. Consider adopting the following practices: 

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily: Follow your dentist’s instructions for a healthy oral health routine. 
  • Visit the dentist regularly: Professional cleanings will help remove plaque and tartar you can’t reach on your own. 
  • Drink enough water: Staying hydrated is good for overall health and helps flush away the food particles that get stuck to your gums. 
  • Eat a healthy diet: Avoid foods high in sugar, which is particularly irritating for the gums. 
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking significantly increases your risk of periodontal disease. If you’re already a smoker, work with your doctor and find ways to quit. 


There might not be a way to cure periodontitis, but periodontal treatment at MR Dental Aesthetics can help maintain and restore your oral health. 

Dr. Rashti, an award-winning Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist and expert periodontist, ensures every patient who visits her practice receives personalized, attentive care. She only sees patients one at a time ensuring they receive the attention they deserve. Dr. Rashti’s approach also emphasizes health and function, establishing a solid foundation before addressing cosmetic treatments. 

We also provide a variety of other services, including dental implantsfull mouth reconstruction, and high-quality veneersContact us to learn more about periodontal treatment options or schedule an appointment. Let’s take the first step towards better oral health together.


What is periodontal treatment?

Periodontal treatment is a category of dental treatments designed to address the symptoms of gum disease. These treatments are customized to the patient’s needs, including scaling and root planing, laser treatment, surgery, and more. 

Is periodontitis common?

Periodontitis is one of the most common oral health issues among Americans. Over 40% of adults over the age of 30 have periodontitis in some form. The risk of periodontitis increases with age, so it is even more common in older adults. 

How long does it take to treat periodontitis?

Gum disease treatment will vary based on your condition’s severity and willingness to comply with your dentist’s recommendations. Many people start to see improvements just three weeks after starting treatment. However, if your gum disease is severe, it may take closer to two months to see progress. 

How long is the average recovery time for gum disease treatments? 

Recovery times will depend on which gum disease treatment you and your dentist choose. For example, your gums will start to heal seven to 10 days after a root planing treatment. However, extractions and implants can take several months to recover fully.

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