It sneaks into your mouth slowly, sometimes silently and painlessly, and steals your teeth! This horrible creature, called gum disease or periodontal disease, affects over 75% of adults at some time and causes them more tooth loss than cavities do. Caused by plaque bacteria that attack gums, supporting tissues and even bones, periodontal disease may display warning signs such as:
Diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum and bone) disease vitally affects oral and physical health. Studies have linked gum disease to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other life-threatening conditions. Dentists design soft tissue management (STM) plans to achieve lifelong dental health by eliminating gum infection, inflammation, deep pockets and bleeding to achieve periodontal health.
An STM plan typically consists of:
Scaling and root planing is the primary method for treating gum disease. Infrequent brushing and flossing and general poor oral hygiene over prolonged periods of time can cause periodontal, or gum, disease. When this occurs, your dentist will almost certainly recommend scaling and root planing to cure the disease.
Over multiple visits, your dentist will use specially-designed dental tools to remove build up on the gum line and under the gums. In most cases, a local anesthetic is utilized. Once the process is complete, your dentist will determine if additional periodontal surgery is required.