Your gum tissue should fit snugly around each tooth, but when periodontitis destroys supporting bone and tissue, your gum tissue stretches out, allowing bacteria filled pockets to form around your teeth. Over time, these pockets become progressively deeper and more infected, leading to further bone and tissue loss. The goal of treatment is to thoroughly clean these pockets of bacteria and to prevent further damage. Many people with periodontitis can be successfully treated with non-invasive therapy, like scaling and root planning. Scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) is a procedure in which a dental hygienist numbs your gums so a very thorough removal of the calculus and bacteria may be comfortably performed, sometimes in conjunction with antibiotic therapy. If you consistently practice good oral hygiene at home, this may be the only treatment you need to prevent the bacteria from progressing further. However some may have more advanced periodontal disease that requires surgical intervention.