How we treat gum disease without surgery … scaling and root planing for a deep, healthy clean!
All of our neighbors in Eaton Rapids and greater Central Michigan deserve proactive, conservative (tissue-preserving), and comfortable gum disease treatment. After all, the health of our gums is essential to the health of our teeth. Gingival tissue surrounds, protects, and supports our teeth and also aids in a beautifully-balanced and attractive smile. While regular exams and “standard” professional cleanings at the office of Douglas Hoppe DDS are sufficient for many patients to retain their gum health, we may find that a “deep cleaning” – scaling and root planing – is in your future.
Gum disease can be prevented with a mix of consistent and thorough brushing and flossing at home, as well as professional cleanings at our office. Usually, these cleanings are scheduled every six months with your routine dental check-ups; however, some patients are at a greater risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease. So, if this condition seems to run in your family, or you have diabetes or other diseases associated with periodontal problems, Dr. Hoppe may recommend more frequent visits/exams.
Professional cleanings are imperative; our skilled hygienists have the training and tools to effectively (and gently) remove stubborn, hardened plaque build-up or tartar from the teeth and hard-to-clean areas. Lingering tartar and bacteria promote the development of dental decay and periodontal disease, and harmful, stubborn, accumulated plaque cannot be removed with OTC toothbrushes and floss products alone. Also, resist the temptation to purchase and use dental instruments online if you are not trained in their proper use. When not used correctly, these instruments may actually cause more damage to delicate oral tissues. Leave the professional cleaning too, well, the professionals!
When scaling and root planning may be on the horizon
Think of SRP as a “deep cleaning” of your gum line and the roots of the teeth. By cleaning underneath these soft tissues, the sticky plaque and its hardened form (tartar) are removed and are no longer a source of irritation and inflammation. And by smoothing the rough root surfaces of the teeth, healthy gingival reattachment is supported.
Generally, if gum disease is not treated and allowed to progress, the gums may pull away from the teeth and form space or “periodontal pockets.” The depth of these pockets can provide some insights into the nature and extent of existing disease. We use special probes to measure perio pockets carefully. Any measurements of up to 3 millimeters suggest “baseline” or healthy gum tissue, while anything 4 millimeters and above is indicative of early disease (gingivitis) or mild, moderate, and advanced later-stage disease (periodontitis).
SRP may be an appropriate treatment for patients with gingivitis or mild periodontitis. For more severe cases of periodontitis, Dr. Hoppe may recommend other therapies to regenerate lost gum tissue. Additionally, SRP may be accompanied by other treatments and products, such as medicated rinses or bacteria-fighting prescription medications.
Tender, sensitive gums. A gum line that looks puffy, redder than usual, or recessed. “Pink in the sink” (bleeding when you brush). If you notice these and other concerning changes, do not hesitate to contact us. We can recommend a range of interventions to resolve these symptoms and even reverse the effects of gum disease when detected and addressed sufficiently early into the disease process. Call (517) 667-7066 today to schedule your appointment at our warm and inviting office in Eaton Rapids, MI.