People with gum disease may be able to use antibiotics and avoid surgery and tooth extraction, according to a new study. The research, backed by the National Institute of Dental Health, found that scaling and deep cleaning of the teeth and gums, combined with short-term antibiotics, dramatically reduced the need for gum surgery and extractions. The research, by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, showed drug treatment also spared 690 of the 783 teeth originally recommended for surgery or extraction. Only two patients did not respond to treatment, but they had extreme periodontal conditions and had faced extraction of all their teeth. Overall, the treatment reduced the need for surgery by 93 percent. A follow-up after one year showed that the benefits from the drug treatment had continued.