An estimated three out of four adults have gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Fortunately, when it’s caught early, it’s very treatable by means of a soft tissue management plan. In its early stages, gum disease is little more than an inflammation – you may notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth. That’s the point when you have to see a dentist so that the symptoms can be assessed and a gum treatment plan can be created. You want to stop periodontal disease in its tracks, before the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth end up being harmed. As gum disease progresses, the inflammation in the gums can worsen, and your gums could end up pulling away from your teeth, forming pockets that are the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The worst case scenario is that the tissue, bones and gums end up being destroyed, and you lose your teeth.
The primary goal of soft tissue management is to stop the spread of the infection, and the type of treatment will depend on how advanced and how severe your gum disease has become. Regular cleanings can go a long way to preventing gum disease, but once it’s taken hold you may need treatments like root planing and scaling. This is a process that removes the plaque and tartar from the area beneath the gumline, and smooths the surfaces of your teeth so that your gums are able to heal. Regular brushing and flossing won’t remove tartar beneath the gum line.
Usually, soft tissue management requires at least two dental appointments. Your gums didn’t become diseased overnight, and gum treatment isn’t going to happen overnight. With the exception of severe and advanced gum disease, soft tissue management combined with a program of good oral hygiene can relieve your periodontal disease and restore you to good dental health. Ideally, you’ll get the treatment you need before the condition becomes so advanced that surgery is required.
The last thing anyone wants is to have their gum disease progress to the point where it requires surgical intervention, and of course prevention is far better than a cure. So take care of your teeth and gums – make sure to brush and floss regularly, have regular professional cleanings, and see us regularly for checkups. Gum disease can be prevented, and when caught in its early stages, it can be treated by non-invasive procedures. Call our Oakdale office at (631) 589-2600 and schedule a checkup or cleaning with Dr. Al Berger today!