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Eliminate Gum Disease with Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease can have a severe negative impact on your overall oral health. The good news is, when it is diagnosed early, gum disease can be effectively treated with non-surgical therapy. At Creative Smiles in Vancouver, WA, Dr. Carl Futenma offers periodontal therapy to treat gum disease before it worsens to help our patients maintain healthy, long-lasting smiles.

All About Gum Disease

Gum disease begins as gingivitis. You may notice tender, red, or swollen gums. You may even notice a little bleeding when you brush. These signs are indicators that something is not quite right. While these symptoms usually imply that you should improve your oral hygiene routine, many patients back off brushing and flossing even more, which can result in serious issues.

The plaque that accumulates around the teeth contains bacteria. When plaque and tartar are not routinely removed, the bacteria irritate the gums, causing an infection. If left untreated, this infection can spread deep into the gum line, compromise the bone, and create pockets around the roots of the teeth. Once this occurs, the plaque and bacteria that become impacted below the gums are impossible to reach with brushing and flossing alone. This dangerous situation can lead to a myriad of dental issues, including mobility or tooth loss.

Some patients are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease. In other cases, gum disease is a result of poor hygiene. No matter what the cause, periodontal therapy is an excellent way to eradicate infection-causing bacteria and improve your oral and overall health.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a dental cleaning that reaches deep into the gums to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria. It is similar to a routine cleaning with your hygienist. However, in this case, the gums are numbed so the clinician can reach deep into the problem areas. Using a combination of hand scalers and ultrasonic instruments, the teeth will be cleaned, and the roots will be smoothed to dissuade further irritants from reattaching.

Additional Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatments

Depending on the needs of the individual, adjunctive treatments may be provided. For example, Dr. Futenma may initiate antibiotic therapy. In some cases, oral antibiotics will be prescribed in conjunction with scaling and root planing. In other cases, antimicrobials may be administered under the gums to target a specific problem area. Additionally, a prescription-strength mouth rinse can also be given to supplement your at-home hygiene regimen.

Periodontal Maintenance

Following your periodontal therapy, a cleaning schedule will be necessary in order to maintain your progress and keep oral bacteria levels at bay. The intervals at which your cleanings take place will be recommended by Dr. Futenma based on your individual needs. Patients who are more prone to gum disease will typically benefit from more frequent cleanings. Many of our patients who have completed periodontal therapy receive dental cleanings every three or four months.

Learn More about Periodontal Therapy

If you notice symptoms of periodontal disease, such as bleeding, swollen, or tender gums, schedule a consultation with Dr. Futenma. Being proactive with your periodontal health can help you avoid more serious dental issues in the future. Our practice is located in the heart of Vancouver, and is also easily accessible to the communities of Battle Ground, Orchards, Ridgefield, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, and Portland. Call our office at (360) 574-3061 or contact us online anytime.