Arlington Periodontal Therapy for Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is commonly referred to as gum disease, and it effects more than 50% of US adults over 30. Gum disease occurs when bacteria lives below the gum line. In the early stages, gingivitis, patients will likely only have mild symptoms such as bleeding after brushing or flossing teeth. In this stage, patients will typically recover with more frequent professional teeth cleanings. Left untreated, advanced gum disease, periodontitis, may require more extensive treatment. Contact us right away if you believe you’re suffering from gum disease.
Scaling & Root Planing
The first phase of treatment for patients with advanced gum disease is a combination of two procedures, scaling and root planing. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque and tartar buildup. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future plaque buildup by removing the crevices in the root’s service where plaque and tartar can attach to teeth. These are comfortable, non-surgical procedures typically completed with only local anesthesia. We’ve further improved the comfort of these treatments by incorporating soft tissue laser dentistry into our practice.
Soft Tissue Laser
In addition to the traditional manual methods of removing plaque and smoothing tooth roots, our team often recommends periodontal therapy using a soft tissue laser. Our state-of-the-art laser allows Dr. Gray to decontaminate the pockets that form between teeth and gums without further irritating soft tissue. This minimizes bleeding and discomfort during and after treatment, and accelerates the healing process. The 970 nm laser interacts well with high water content in human tissue making it a better option for periodontal therapy.
Following scaling and root planing, we may recommend an oral or topical antibiotic to reduce the amount of plaque-producing bacteria in the mouth. By limiting the amount of plaque produced, we reduce patients’ risk for continued gum infection. Topical antibiotics continue to be released for several days or weeks, reducing the amount of bacteria while the treated soft tissue heals. If patients have significant infection that is affecting overall health, oral antibiotics may be necessary.