Non-surgical Gum Treatment
Mercer Island, WA
Gum disease is a serious condition that begins with a bacterial infection in your mouth. The bacteria irritate your gums, causing inflammation. As a result, the tissue begins to swell. Red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss your teeth are the earliest signs of gum disease. Without treatment, gum disease worsens. Pockets form as your gums pull away from your teeth. Your gums recede, and your teeth become loose. You may eventually be faced with tooth loss and other serious complications. At Goichi Shiotsu, DDS, we provide several options for non-surgical gum therapy, helping to stop the progression of gum disease and restore the health of your mouth.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is one of the most common treatments for gum disease. This particular treatment is like a deep cleaning for your teeth that involves cleaning the visible surfaces as well as the surfaces hidden below your gum line. Scaling is the cleaning of the crowns of your teeth. This process involves the use of a tool known as a scaler. This tool enables us to scrape away the most stubborn tartar, or calcified plaque, from all surfaces of your teeth. We are even able to clean the areas of your mouth that you have a difficult time cleaning on your own. Scaling involves cleaning all visible surfaces of each tooth, with special attention given to, and just below, your gum line.
Root planing is the cleaning of the surfaces of your teeth below the gum line. We use thin, specialized tools that are inserted under the gums. The tools enable us to effectively eliminate plaque, bacteria, and other toxins from the root surfaces, smoothing them and preventing new bacterial growth. Scaling and root planing helps to alleviate irritation on your gums so that they can begin to heal.
Periodontal maintenance is often recommended if scaling and root planing does not yield the desired results. This type of treatment involves a series of regularly scheduled appointments. The frequency of these appointments depends upon the severity of your specific condition. You may need to visit as often as every 2 months, or you may only need them as often as every 6 months.
During your periodontal maintenance visits, we examine your mouth to monitor your healing progress. This includes noting any buildup on your teeth, measuring your periodontal pockets, and taking X-rays. After examining your mouth, we then clean your teeth. With these appointments, we aid your mouth to heal more effectively.
Antibiotic medications may also be recommended to help treat gum disease. Antibiotics are often used following scaling and root planing. The job of these medications is to help kill bacteria that might still be lingering below your gum line. Antibiotics are not meant to be a standalone treatment, but they can be very effective when used in conjunction with other gum disease treatments.
Laser treatment helps to provide a non-surgical, less invasive alternative to traditional gum surgery. The laser uses a concentrated beam of light to remove diseased gum tissue. As it removes tissue, it cauterizes, reducing bleeding. The laser allows us to target only the diseased tissue, leaving your healthy tissue intact. The laser can also help to disinfect periodontal pockets and stimulate the growth of new tissue.
When symptoms of gum disease are noticed, it is important to seek dental treatment right away. The sooner gum disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Goichi Shiotsu, DDS at (206) 232-3600 today.