Benton & Nelson DDS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Gum Disease Treatment

How can we help you?

You can find answers to some common questions below. Feel free to call us at (336) 760-1277 if you have a question that isn't listed here!

Gum Disease Treatment

Yes, most dental issues don’t become painful until they’re severe. 

Cavities don’t hurt until they are large. 

Cavities don't hurt until they reach the deepest part of your tooth (the nerve). However, once they reach the nerve, you might need a root canal instead of a simple filling, which could have been done when the cavity was smaller.

Gum disease doesn’t hurt, either. 

Gum disease typically involves painless destruction of gum and supporting gum structures. Gum disease usually doesn’t hurt until it becomes so severe that your teeth are loose. 

Please visit our page on gum disease to learn more! 


There are many benefits to undergoing gum disease treatment, also known as periodontal therapy:

  • Prevent losing teeth later in life
  • Improve bad breath
  • Healthier appearance of gum tissue
  • Avoid dentures and partials
  • Lowers risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Regain the ability to clean your teeth and gums at home

For most, every 6 months is ideal.

Patients with healthy gums and teeth should visit the dentist for a cleaning and exam every 6 months.

For some, more frequent cleanings are necessary.

If it has been a while since your last cleaning or if you are diagnosed with gum disease, then you may be advised to come more often. Once your gums are healthy, you can be moved to a regular 6-month schedule.

Please visit our page on gum disease treatment to learn more!


We evaluate your gums at every cleaning appointment. Dr. Benton and Dr. Nelson always evaluate their patients for gum disease during their cleaning appointments in their Winston-Salem office. Their entire dental team is trained to evaluate for signs of gum disease.

Other factors that could be signs of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Chronically bleeding gums
  • Gum recession
  • Mobile or loose teeth
  • Tobacco use
  • Lack of regular dental cleanings

Plaque is a biofilm: 

Plaque is the collection of bacteria that can build-up on teeth within minutes. The bacteria gather together and form a complex network called a biofilm. You can probably feel plaque on your teeth if you forget to brush in the morning. Fortunately, routine brushing and flossing can remove plaque fairly easily.

Calculus is hardened plaque:

Calculus is plaque that stays on your teeth for a long enough period of time to become hardened with minerals. This is what you may have felt being removed during part of your routine dental cleaning. Calculus removal is one of the most important reasons to come to your routine cleanings because it cannot be removed with a toothbrush or floss. The buildup of calculus over time can cause severe issues such as inflammation and gum disease.

Periodontal disease is a progressive disease caused by an infection in your gums and tissues that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease can cause bad breath, loose teeth, lost teeth, and gum recession. 

There are multiple excellent toothbrush options depending on what you're looking for:

Manual toothbrushes

If you are using a manual toothbrush, then we recommend one with soft bristles with gentle circular motions.

Electric toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes have been scientifically proven to be more effective than manual brushes, as they remove more plaque and debris. Currently, Sonicare and Oral B brands are the best. We are happy to recommend an electric toothbrush at your next cleaning visit!

Call us at (336) 760-1277 to schedule your next appointment.
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