Soft-tissue Management is a non-surgical plan of action created for patients who suffer from gingivitis or periodontitis, also known as gum disease. Soft-tissue Management usually takes several visits, including frequent checkups, but is well worth the time spent at the dentist. At Meadowbrook Dental Care, our staff checks for signs and symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis in our patients during routine checkups and general services. Preventative care can be taken before any issues can become irreversible.
What is Gingivitis
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that surround the teeth. An excessive occurrence of plaque usually causes gingivitis. One might have red or swollen gums, bleeding when brushing or receding gums, resulting in the potential of gum disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of Periodontitis but is reversible.
What is Periodontitis
Periodontitis or gum disease is a serious condition stemming from gingivitis, smoking, diabetes and a variety of other health issues. It is also inflammation of the gums, resulting in receding or bleeding gums. However, Periodontitis allows plaque to slip in between the gum and tooth, eventually causing bone loss. Serious side effects account for tooth loss and other health issues, such as increased risk for stroke and heart attack. As plaque slips in between the gum and tooth, it creates what is known as a pocket. The pocket is what weakens the strength of the bone. Common symptoms include:
- Spacing between the teeth
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Halitosis or bad breath
- Sensitive to chewing
Soft-tissue Management Treatment
Due to the amount of plaque build-up and hardening of plaque, a standard dental cleaning is not efficient. At Meadowbrook Dental Care, soft-tissue management first occurs for both gingivitis and periodontitis when the accumulated plaque is removed. This is known as a full-mouth debridement. This allows access to the pockets.
The next step is a deep-cleaning of the pockets, known as period scaling and root planing. This is a more aggressive form of the disposal of plaque. Once we have access to the root, we will begin to perform root planing, which is the smoothing of the root. This helps fight off any plaque build-up in the future. In more serious cases of periodontitis, it is sometimes required to use a special laser and/or placement of local antibiotic. This is used in conjunction with perio scaling & root planing. The laser removes diseased tissue and stimulates the growth of new and health gum tissue. The antibiotic, Arestin, is placed in the pockets below the gum line in order to kill bacteria that are present.
Finally, the last step is a standard cleaning and polishing of the teeth.
For advanced Periodontitis, we recommend our patients come back for general periodontal maintenance every 3-4 months instead of a standard cleaning once every 6 months. This helps prevent any further periodontal damage to the gums. Our staff at Meadowbrook Dental Care also highly recommends brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Doing so can prevent gingivitis and periodontitis, as well as decrease the risk of plaque build-up after Soft-tissue Management is performed.
For more information about Soft-tissue Management please call our office located in Mineola, Long Island at 512-272-4280.