Gum disease also known as periodontal disease, is an infection affecting the surround and supporting tissue of teeth which include gums and supporting bone. It is cause by plaque and is a major cause of tooth loss. Gum disease includes Gingivitis and the more advanced Periodontitis which manifests with bone loss and loss of gum attachment. There are factors both local such as poor oral hygiene, smoking or chewing tobacco and systemic factors such as medications and diabetes that increase the risk of developing the condition. If you are diagnosed with Gum disease your dentist will recommend gum therapy treatment. Treatment consists of the initial removal of plaque and calculus (“tartar”) and smoothing of root surfaces to allow for reattachment of gum to teeth. This procedure is known as Scaling and root planning and is usually done under local anesthetic and may involve more than one visit. Follow up visits every three to four months are required to maintain gum health. Home care instructions are given to optimize results. In some instances there may be a need for surgery to correct defects caused by the condition, to access deeper areas or deep pockets, or when the initial therapy is unsuccessful.