Discover the Healthiest Options for Treating Gum Disease 

If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, various treatment options are available. At Valley Hills Dentistry, we always start with the least invasive, non-surgical options. However, in more serious cases, surgery may be needed. 

Non-Surgical Treatment: Scaling and Root Planing

The first line of defense against gum disease is a unique cleaning called "scaling and root planning." Through this procedure, we provide a clean, healthy surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth. Here's how it works:

  • An ultrasonic cleaning device removes plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can't reach, including:
    • Under the gum line
    • On the tooth
    • Around the root
  • The rough surfaces of the tooth and the root are smoothed out (planed).

If done in the early stages of gum disease, scaling, and root planing may be the only treatment you need. 

Aftercare for Scaling and Root Planing 

The following routine will help keep your teeth healthy and gum disease from coming back:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid tobacco use
  • Have regular dental checkups

Even after a successful scaling and root planning procedure, you may develop gum disease without proper care.

Surgical Treatment Options

If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged for non-surgical treatment, we'll recommend the surgical procedure best suited to prevent severe damage to your teeth and gums. Common types of periodontal surgery include:

Pocket Depth Reduction (Flap Surgery)

Periodontal disease leaves open spaces around teeth called pockets, where bacteria can collect and damage the gum tissue and jawbone that hold teeth in place. This procedure shrinks the pockets so the gums can reattach to the teeth. This procedure involves:

  • Folding back the gum tissue
  • Removing bacteria, hardened plaque, and tartar underneath the gum
  • Removing damaged gum tissue
  • Securing healthy tissue in place


This procedure supports and stimulates bone and tissue growth and involves:

  • Folding back the gum tissue 
  • Removing bacteria, plaque, and tartar
  • Performing a bone graft 
  • Applying a special protein to areas destroyed by gum disease

Soft-Tissue Graft

Gum disease can make the gums recede, making teeth:

  • Look longer
  • More sensitive to heat or cold
  • Exposed to damage from bacteria, plaque, and tartar

To reverse damage caused by receding gums, this procedure involves:

  • Transferring tissue from your mouth or another area to the gum
  • Covering exposed roots
  • Restoring the gum line 

Restore Your Oral Health and Your Quality of Life

Schedule an appointment at Valley Hills Dentistry in Hickory, NC, to determine which gum disease treatment is the best option for restoring your oral health.

I was very satisfied with the care and attention I received. Dr. Shaw as well as the hygienist were both extremely thorough and efficient. I would highly recommend Valley Hills Dentistry to anyone who is looking for a dentist. Also the office staff are fantastic.
Short wait time, easy appointment setting and all the staff that I have interacted with have been FANTASTIC! This truly is a great office.
I've gone here for years and every single person who works here is great. Very good at their job and so nice. Also the most quick, efficient, and painless dental work I've had.