Signs and symptoms may include, but not limited to:
Gums are healthy pink in color.
Gum line hugs the teeth tightly.
Gums may bleed easily when brushing or when probed gently during examination.
Gums may be inflamed and sensitive or tender to touch.
Gums between teeth may look bluish-red in color.
Possible bad breath and bad taste.
Gingivitis can often be reversed with dental cleanings, brushing and flossing.
What is Periodontal Disease (gum disease)?
“Periodontal disease is an infectious disease which destroys the periodontal tissues. These tissues consist of the gums and bone that support the teeth. It is a gum and bone disease.” Periodontal disease affects 3 out of 4 adults. The incidence of periodontal disease in the adult US population is estimated to be between 74-80%. It is caused by a growing colony of living bacteria called “plaque”. The greatest cause of adult tooth loss is periodontal disease. Three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only 3 out of 100 will ever get treated before its too late.
Dental plaque forms constantly collecting in between teeth, in the grooves, at the gum line and below the gums. If the plaque is not removed with brushing and flossing daily, plaque hardens forming tartar(also called calculus). Tartar can be removed witha professional cleaning by our licensed dental hygienist. During your exam your gums will be checked for bleeding, swelling, firmness, recession and sensitivity, gradual tooth movement and movement that occurs with direct pressure. Our licensed dental hygienist will take radio graphs(x-rays) which help detect decay and bone loss. An instrument like a tiny ruler is gently inserted between the tooth and gum to check for gum damage and bone loss. The pockets are measured around the teeth. Deeper pockets indicate more severe disease. A healthy pocket is 1-3millimeters deep. Pockets 4millimeters or greater indicate periodontal problems.
Periodontal disease is a silent, chronic, painless and communicable bacterial infection. During the early stages of periodontal disease there is little, if any pain; therefore you may not notice the gradual onset of puffiness and occasional bleeding. The disease starts when tartar and bacteria under the gum line lead to infection. As the body fights the infection, the gums become irritated,inflamed, swollen and bleed. Pockets form between the teeth and gums which makes it harder to remove the plaque. Without thorough removal of debris, toxins from the plaque cause the disease process to continue. Periodontal disease left untreated may result in extensive bone destruction and possible tooth loss. If detected in the early stages, periodontal disease can be treated and controlled.
The timely diagnosis and treatment of the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease as
SOFT TISSUE MANAGEMENT.
Bleeding, puffiness and inflammation more pronounced.
Gums may begin to pull away or shrink back from the teeth.
Bad breath and bad taste.
Slight loss of bone horizontally on radiographs.
Pockets of 4mm deep between teeth and gums in one or more areas of the mouth.
Teeth look longer as gum begins to pull back and recede.
Abscesses or gumboils may develop.
Front teeth may begin to drift and show spaces.
Bad breath and bad taste.
Both horizontal and angular bone loss on radiographs.
Pockets of 4-6mm deep between teeth and gums.
Roots may be exposed and are sensitive to hot, cold, and touch.
Teeth may become mobile or loose.
Bad Breath and or bad taste are constant.
Severe horizontal and angular bone loss on radiographs.
Pockets of 6mm or deeper between teeth and gums
What is Soft Tissue Management?
Soft Tissue Management is an individualized, non-surgical plan to eliminate infection of the gums and root surfaces. An appropriate plan of treatment will be presented and explained to you by our dentist and hygienist. Our hygienist will perform the procedures to help eliminate infection, make recommendations to help you more effectively clean your teeth daily, and guide you through our efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy state for your oral health.
What is Root Planing?
Root Planing is the treatment of the diseased root surfaces BELOW the gum line. A PROPHYLAXIS (cleaning) emphasizes cleaning the teeth ABOVE the gum line in a healthy mouth. Root planing focuses on eliminating tartar(calculus) and plaque from below the gum line and detoxifying the root surfaces where the disease occurs. Obtaining clean roots and flushing out the pockets allows for healthy reattachment of the gums to the root surfaces.
What are Medicaments?
In the course of root planing treatment, we irrigate the diseases root surfaces with a specialized prescription antimicrobial and or antibiotic solution, Chlorexidine Gluconate. This further cleanses the infected areas and can dramatically increases the success of your treatment.
What are Locally Delivered Antibiotics?
When treating periodontal disease, we place the antibiotics precisely where they are needed: at the active disease site. By localizing the drug, we get measurable results against periodontal infection and avoid common side effects of oral antibiotics, such as, upset stomach, yeast infections and diarrhea.
What do we hope to accomplish with Soft Tissue Management?
Gums to do not bleed. Healthy gums do not bleed.
Gums that are not red, swollen or tender.
Fresher breath and taste.
Knowing how to effectively maintain good oral hygiene.
Reduced pocket depths.
Maintain or control Periodontal Disease. Bone will not grow back on it’s own, but it can be stabilized with suppoprtive periodonatl therapy.
Our non-surgical periodontal program is exceptionally effective in treating periodontal disease. However, once clinical treatment has been completed and oral hygiene instructions have been demonstrated and emphasized it is up to you, the patient, to maintain good and thorough daily oral hygiene home care. We are dedicated to promoting optimal oral health and helping our patients by recommending effective tools for your home hygiene.
What do we need from YOU, the patient, to make this treatment a success?
Completion of the periodontal therapy prescribed by our dentist and recommended by our hygienist.
Thoroughly cleaning all surfaces of your teeth two times a day by brushing and flossing.
Maintain more frequent periodontal maintenance/recare visits with our hygienist.
There are times when non-surgical periodontal therapy is not successful. If this would occur we refer our patients to a Periodontist, a gum specialist, whom we work closely in monitoring and treating each patient on an case by case basis. This may include tissue flap surgery or bone grafting. These procedures are more invasive and require a licenses specialist to perform. Our goal is to diagnosis periodontal disease at a early stage to try and avoid more invasive treatments. Periodontal disease if caught at an early stage can be stabilized and treated effectively at our office.