Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth. If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no permanent damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings. If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths.