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Gum Treatment

Gum treatment is required for individuals who have gum disease, which is a bacterial infection that may potentially destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

This restorative treatment can involve non-surgical and/or surgical methods, depending on the severity of the disease.

At i.Dental, we provide scaling and polishing, root planing (deep cleaning) and periodontal surgery.

Table of contents

Gum disease refers to a persistent bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth. This can occur in one or more teeth and may affect anyone at any age.

There are 2 main forms of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis — mild form that involves inflammation of the gums
  • Periodontitis — severe form that may cause bone and tooth loss

This dental issue is actually more common than you may think — the Adult Oral Health Survey done by the Singapore Health Promotion Board in 2003 revealed that 85% of Singaporeans have periodontal disease.

Infographic - all about gum disease and treatment

What Our Teeth Are Supported By

To understand how gum disease affects our teeth, we must first understand what our teeth are supported by.

  • Gums (gingiva)

This is the pinkish soft tissue that surrounds the teeth, teeth roots and jaw bone to act as a protective layer against bacteria.

  • Periodontal ligament

This is a group of connective tissue fibres that attach the tooth to the surrounding bone.

  • Bone

The jaw bone provides a socket for the roots of the teeth to hold them in place.

Healthy Tooth vs Tooth Experiencing Periodontitis

Here, you can see the difference between a healthy tooth and a tooth experiencing periodontitis.

It starts off with the bacteria in your mouth forming plaque on your teeth around the gum area. If not removed, it will harden to tartar (or calculus) over time which can only be removed at the dentist via professional cleaning.

This tartar can cause inflammation in your gums if not removed, causing gingivitis. Progressively, pockets will start to form, leading to periodontitis.

At this stage, the inflamed gums are conducive for more tartar and plaque formation which causes the pockets to deepen further and in serious cases, may lead to irreversible bone loss.

Here are some factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease:

  • Poor tooth brushing and flossing technique
  • Brushing and/or flossing irregularly
  • Crooked teeth and lack of oral hygiene
  • Genetic factors causing a predisposition to gum disease
  • Hormonal changes e.g., during pregnancy
  • Compromised immunity due to medical conditions
  • Long-term medication
  • Smoking which affects the body’s ability to restore damaged gum tissue
  • Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

    It is easy for gum disease to go unnoticed at its early stages. If you notice these signs, it may be time to visit the dentist to get your teeth checked.

    • Aching of gums and teeth
    • Red, swollen gums
    • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing teeth
    • Bad breath that is hard to get rid of
    • Receding gums
    • Wobbly teeth
    • New gaps between teeth
    • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Complications of Leaving Gum Disease Untreated

    If you go without gum treatment, you may experience the following:

    • Receding gums
    • Sensitive teeth
    • Teeth loss
    • Bone loss
    • Mouth sores
    • Gaps between teeth
    • Chronic bad breath

    Additionally, gum disease may increase the likelihood of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


  • Scaling and Polishing

    Suitable for: Mild cases of gum disease

    Scaling and polishing help remove tartar and plaque from the tooth surfaces that regular brushing cannot.

  • Root planing

    Suitable for: Severe cases of gum disease

    Root planing refers to deep cleaning which smoothens the roots of the teeth to remove any remaining bacteria.

    This procedure will be done under local anaesthesia. It helps to prevent further bacteria buildup to aid healing.


Medication may be prescribed to complement other treatment methods.

Examples include:

  • Antibacterial mouthwash — to be gargled after brushing your teeth
  • Antiseptic medication — inserted by the dentist into periodontal pockets after root planing to disinfect gums
  • Oral antibiotics — may be required to eliminate the bacteria effectively


In some cases, periodontal pockets may be so deep that they do not heal even after non-surgical treatment. That is when our dentists will recommend surgery.

  • Local anaesthetic will be administered to the surgical area
  • The gums will be exposed
  • This allows the dentist to remove plaque and tartar deposited deep within the gum
  • After removing the tartar, the gums are stitched back

Aside from removing plaque and tartar more effectively, surgery reduces the depth of pockets which lowers the risks of future infections.

Non-surgical Treatment


$162 - $540

(Inclusive of GST)

Non-surgical treatment for gum disease such as root planing or deep cleaning may cost between $162 – $540 (includes GST) at i.Dental Singapore.

The price varies depending on the type of treatment required, as well as the severity of the gum disease.

Surgical Treatment


$378 - $648

(Inclusive of GST)

Surgical treatment for gum disease will cost between $378 – $648 (includes GST) at i.Dental Singapore. This can be claimed with MediSave.

The price will vary based on the severity of the gum disease.

  • Over 30 Years of Experience

    i.Dental has over 30 years of experience since it was founded in 1989. Through the years, our team of dentists and oral hygienists have had experience treating many gum disease cases.

  • 4 Convenient Clinics Near MRT

    We have a total of 4 clinics located at Tanjong Pagar, Ubi and Yishun. Each outlet is easily accessible by MRT as they are only a 1 to 3 minute walk away.


Gingivitis and periodontitis are types of periodontal (or gum) disease, but with different severity.

  • Gingivitis: Mild form which involves the inflammation of gums but is reversible
  • Periodontitis: Severe form that may cause tooth and bone loss and is irreversible

Note that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis; it can still be treated at the dentist before it becomes more severe.

Here are some ways you can tell between the two forms:

  • Pain when chewing: This may be a sign of periodontitis
  • Tooth condition: If your gums are irritated, red or swollen but your teeth are still firmly in position, it may be gingivitis. However, once you feel a loose tooth, it is likely that it has progressed to periodontitis
  • Breath: If you notice a persistent bad breath that is hard to get rid of, it is likely periodontitis as it may be caused by the excess bacteria in your mouth

Consult your dentist once you notice any signs of gum disease to get it treated early.

It depends on the severity of your condition and the type of treatment that you need. Here is a gauge of how long each treatment takes:

  • Scaling and polishing: 30 minutes
  • Root planing: 1 to 2 hours
  • Surgery: 2 hours

The gum treatment itself should not be painful, but you may experience some discomfort during the treatment.

  • Scaling and polishing: Minimal discomfort during procedure
  • Root planing: Local anaesthetic will be used
  • Surgery: Local anaesthetic will be used

For both root planing and periodontal surgery, you may experience some discomfort for a few days after the procedure. It is best to check with your dentist on the recovery process.

Unfortunately, your healthy gums cannot grow back on their own once the gum tissue is lost. Thus, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as you notice signs of gum disease before it results in gum recession.

In such cases, there are treatments available such as gum grafting that can restore the gum line and protect the exposed tooth root but they may be expensive.

Gum disease can be prevented by keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Here are some good habits to cultivate:

  • Brush teeth thrice a day for two minutes
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when teeth brushing
  • Get dental check-ups at least every half a year
  • Go for professional dental cleaning at least every half a year
  • Prevent smoking
  • Ensure diabetes (if any) is well controlled

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