Periodontal disease is the infection of the tissues and bone that hold the teeth in place. It is caused by continued presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth. As with most diseases, there can be a spectrum of severity from slight to severe. Severe periodontitis can result in bad breath, receding gums, bone and ultimately tooth loss. Because periodontitis is a disease, it warrants more thorough treatment than a routine prophylactic cleaning for healthy gums. The treatment for periodontitis is called scaling and root planing. Your dental hygienist may separate this deeper cleaning into two treatment appointments and more frequent recare visits. This harmful bacteria recolonizes to harmful levels within 90 days, so many of our periodontal patients come in on a 3-4 month care cycle. Dr. Lauren and your dental hygienist will customize your plan to suit your specific treatment needs.