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Periodontal Therapy Fighting Gum Disease

mirror showing back of teethPeriodontal (gum) disease effects more than 50% of US adults over the age of 30, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss within this demographic. Gum disease has been linked to a number of chronic and systemic illnesses including elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. With startling statistics like these, it’s no wonder Dr. Steve R. Dedrickson includes periodontal charting as an essential part of his preventive care plans for patients. Contact Sevens Dental right away if you notice bleeding, inflammation, or discoloration in the tissue around your teeth. Our Clayton, MO team offers a wide array of periodontal therapies for our patients.

Scaling & Root Planing

close up of perfect smileGum disease occurs when the soft tissue surrounding teeth is irritated by plaque and tartar buildup. In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis, there may be relatively few, very mild indications that this soft tissue irritation has occurred. Gingivitis can typically be treated by performing more frequent professional teeth cleanings. For those patients with more advanced gum disease, periodontitis, we may need to incorporate a combination deep cleaning treatments known as scaling and root planing. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged soft tissue. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots, which makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar to build up irritating supportive tissues and leading to a relapse in severity of gum disease. Following scaling and root planing, we may also use topical or oral antibiotics to reduce the amount of plaque producing bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, we will likely recommend patients receive more frequent professional cleanings at our office at least three times each year.

Soft Tissue Laser

soft tissue laserWe perform scaling and root planing and gum recontouring using a soft tissue laser. This allows us to complete these procedures more quickly and comfortably, while preserving the maximum amount of healthy soft tissue. Lasers are able to pinpoint precise areas of gum tissue damage, carefully remove just the affected tissues, and simultaneously cauterize the treatment site reducing bleeding during treatment and discomfort following procedures. Additionally, because stitches typically aren’t necessary with laser dentistry, healing time is significantly reduced. That means patients are at decreased risk to experience further damage from gum disease over time compared with traditional scalpel and suture gum disease treatments.

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