Soft Tissue Management


Soft tissue management is the management of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in this crevice, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and the supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the crevice develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.

Recent research has shown the link between periodantal health and your overall health and well being. Periodontal diseas may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pre-term labor and some forms of cancer.

Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.
There are several warning signs that can signal a problem:

Treatment of periodontal disease depends on the severity of the condition. If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended.  Your dentist will also give you instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.

If the periodontal disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended.  It is usually done one fourth of the mouth at a time while the area is numb.  In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). 

This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink.  Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may also be recommended to help control infection and promote healing.

You can prevent gum disease by brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing daily. Make sure to schedule regular checkups to get your teeth cleaned.

Please contact our office at 410-997-7412 to discuss your soft tissue management needs!