Gum disease or periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue, is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life. Periodontics is the science of treating these diseases. After evalutation, mild to moderate disease conditions are treated by the hygienist with scaling and root planing in conjunction with other services. More severe periodontal disease will be treated by the doctor.

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