Periodontal Disease & Soft Tissue Management
WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Periodontal disease is an infectious and inflammatory disease which destroys the periodontal tissues. These tissues consist of the gums and the bone that support the teeth. It is a gum and bone disease. It is caused by a growing colony of living bacteria called “plaque” or “biofilm.” The greatest cause of adult tooth loss is periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease affects 3 out of 4 adults. The effects of periodontal disease reach far beyond the oral cavity. There is evidence which indicates the bacteria which causes periodontal disease can reach beyond the oral cavity and may be associated with other health issues such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.*
In the early stages of periodontal disease there is little, or no pain; therefore the signs and symptoms such as puffiness and bleeding may go unnoticed. Without thorough removal, toxins from biofilm cause the disease process to continue. Periodontal disease left untreated may result in extensive bone destruction and possible tooth loss.
Proper early diagnosis and treatment in conjunction with correct home care can control and manage the periodontal disease process. Our practice will refer to the timely diagnosis and treatment of the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease as Soft Tissue Management®.”
*American Academy of Periodontology 2000
WHAT IS SOFT TISSUE MANAGEMENT®?
- An organized system for early detection, diagnosis, non-surgical treatment and maintenance of the inflammatory phase of periodontal disease, and for the early detection of premalignant or malignant changes of the oral tissues as related to oral cancer.
- Individualized treatment performed by a dentist and hygienist to reduce infection – including recommendations for daily home care and maintenance.
WHAT IS A POCKET?
- The area between the top of the tissue and the bone surrounding the tooth. This area is measured using a small ruler type instrument called a probe. When infected, the tissue pulls away from the tooth and bleeds easily. Measuring pocket depth provides an indication as to the amount of bone loss around each tooth.
WHAT IS SCALING AND ROOT PLANING?
- Scaling and root planing focuses on removing plaque, calculus, and stain from the tooth surface above and below the gumline. Root planing focuses on eliminating calculus or tartar and biofilm below the gumline by detoxifying the root surfaces where the disease occurs. In combination with scaling and root planing, the use of medicaments to flush or irrigate the pocket areas allows for a healthy reattachment of tissue to the root surfaces.
WHAT WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH SOFT TISSUE MANAGEMENT:
- Gingival (gum) tissue that does not bleed
- Gingival tissue that is not red, swollen, or tender
- Fresher breath and taste
- Reduced pocket depths
- Control of the periodontal disease
- Established methods to effectively maintain good oral hygiene
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU, THE PATIENT, FOR TREATMENT SUCCESS:
- Completion of the Soft Tissue Management® Program prescribed by your dentist
- Thorough cleaning of all tooth surfaces, twice daily
- Maintenance of regular recare visits
- Commitment to improving your health!!!