Our Raleigh dentist or dental hygienist will perform a periodontal exam to see if you have periodontal disease. This exam is performed at your routine dental exams.

Dr. Schmorr or her associates will use a dental tool called a periodontal probe to measure the space between your teeth and gums (known as the pocket). A healthy pocket is about three millimeters deep or less and doesn’t bleed. The periodontal probe will help our Raleigh dentist determine if your pockets are deeper than three millimeters. Deeper pockets can indicate gum disease.

If Dr. Schmorr detects any bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, or abnormal pocket depths, she’ll diagnose your condition in one of the following categories:


Gingivitis can be the first stage of gum disease. The gums can be tender and bleed from the toxins in plaque causing irritation.


When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar (also called calculus). The build-up of tartar causes the gums to recede and the pockets between your teeth and gums get deeper, filling with pus and bacteria. Bone loss may also occur when the gums get irritated and inflamed.

Advanced Periodontitis

When the gums and bone that support your teeth start to weaken and the periodontal ligament is destroyed; your teeth will begin to lose the support they need to be healthy.  Eventually, they become loose and uneven.  Furthermore, if left untreated, a severe bone loss can occur.  After this occurs, Six Forks Smiles has other options including implants and bridges.

Treatment for Periodontal Disease in Raleigh

When caught early before damage is done, our Raleigh dentist will recommend one or two regular cleanings. You’ll also be given special care instructions for maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine and the importance of coming into our dental office for regular exams and cleanings.

If your gum disease has already progressed and caused some damage, Dr. Schmorr will use a special deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. Usually, scaling and root planing is done in one quadrant of the mouth at a time. Plaque and tartar will be removed from the tooth and from below the gum line (scaling). Any rough patched on your tooth are smoothed out (planing). Scaling and planing help the gum tissue to heal and the pockets to get smaller. Medication or medicated mouth rinse may be recommended to you to help prevent infection and speed up healing.

If scaling and root planing doesn’t help the pockets heal, periodontal surgery may be necessary. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be referred to a Periodontist or gum and supporting bone specialist.

Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:

  • Tooth scaling and planing of the roots – removing the bacteria and tartar on the tooth is essential for preserving the health of your gum tissue. Our Raleigh dentist will clean your teeth and gum pockets and treat them with antibiotics for the infection if necessary. You may be prescribed a special mouthwash to use daily.
  • Regeneration of the tissue – In order to encourage and help the regrowth of any destroyed tissue, Dr. Schmorr may insert a special membrane into damaged areas.
  • Pocket eliminating surgery – This surgical treatment, also called flap surgery, reduces the size of the pockets between your gums and teeth. Jawbone surgery also an option for eliminating bone indentations and bacteria colonization.
  • Dental implants – dental implants are a common way to improve the look and functionality of your mouth when you’ve suffered tooth loss from periodontal disease. Dr. Schmorr can insert a prosthetic tooth or teeth into the jawbone to restore your teeth back to original form. Dental implants may require tissue regeneration before they can be placed.

Gum Maintenance in Raleigh

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

  • Diagnostic x-rays to detect tooth decay, cysts, tumors, and bone loss in your mouth. Your x-rays will also help our Raleigh dentist check your tooth and root positions.
  • Checking your existing fillings, crowns, and other restorations you have.
  • Checking all the surfaces of your teeth for tooth decay.
  • Screen your mouth, gums, neck, throat, cheeks, tongue, and lips for signs of oral cancer.
  • Recommendation of products, techniques, and aids for your oral hygiene.
  • Teeth cleaning to remove plaque and stains that get missed during tooth brushing.

Contact Us for Periodontal Disease Solutions

Dr. Schmorr & Associates at Six Forks Smiles are professionally educated, trained, and experienced dentist that can properly diagnose periodontal disease. Fill out the form below or call us to schedule your appointment.