Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common oral and overall health concerns among US adults. A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that nearly 50% of US adults over the age of 30 suffer from advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Left untreated, even mild periodontal disease (gingivitis) can lead to a number of oral and overall health risks. It’s essential that patients visit the dentist at least two times each year to ensure gum disease is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. For those patients who do suffer from gum disease, we may recommend more frequent dental visits to ensure the maintenance of optimal oral health. For patients who have more advanced periodontal disease, we may recommend more in depth treatments such as scaling and root planing. Scaling is the careful removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged tissue below the gum line, and root planing is the smoothing of root surfaces to prevent future accumulation that may result in additional damage to oral health.