Periodontal disease and its precursor gingivitis, is one of the most common disease processes, with almost everyone affected by it at some stage of their life. Periodontal disease is a broad name for a collection of inflammatory diseases affecting the gum tissues that surround and support the teeth. It usually progresses with little or no pain, and many are unaware that they have the disease. However, it is usually obvious to the trained eye (and nose) of the dental team.
There is some evidence that bacteria involved in gum disease cause diseases of blood vessels and the heart, contributing to clots, strokes and heart attack. So periodontal disease should be taken very seriously and treated vigorously.
The disease is almost always preventable by straightforward home care. It is so important you keep up with your brushing, flossing and inter-dental brushing. Unfortunately many, being unaware they have the problem, do not carry out necessary measures to prevent its progress.
Your dentist will concentrate their efforts to identify whether, and to what extent you have a problem, and explain how you may prevent it.
Where possible, it is more economical to have this treatment with the hygienist rather than the dentist. The hygienist main role is in prevention of gum disease and spends most of their day treating it. Your dentist can carry out the cleaning for you, but their time is also needed for other dental treatment which the hygienist is not qualified to carry out.