Gum Therapy (or Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)) – is the most effective way to treat gum disease. During SRP, the dentist cleans between the gums and teeth, down to the root. Your dentist may need to use local anesthetic to numb the gums and the roots of your teeth while the procedure is performed. It is important that individuals with gum (periodontal) disease have this procedure done.
What is Gum (Periodontal) Disease?
Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums. In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth can become seriously damaged. The teeth can become loose, fall out or may have to be removed by a dentist.
Scaling & Root planing
If you have a stubborn case of gum disease, your dentist may recommend a dental procedure called dental scaling. This will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help your gums regain health. The scaling process is usually done in conjunction with a procedure known as root planing.
During the teeth scaling process, your dentist or dental hygienist will numb the gums and tooth roots with a local anesthesia, but teeth scaling and root planing cause very little discomfort. Your dentist or dental hygienist will use specialized tools to remove the hardened deposits of plaque buildup (tartar) from the teeth both above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing rough spots on the roots of the teeth that can promote gum disease by trapping and holding bacteria.
The whole procedure may be done in a single visit, although generally a quadrant (1/4th of the mouth) or half of the mouth is recommended per appointment. After a scaling and planing, you can expect that your gums will be numb from the anesthesia and then possibly a little tender. But if you maintain a consistent oral health routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing, your gums should quickly regain a firm, healthy, pink appearance.
When you look at your smile, what do you see? If your answer is, “A whole lot of gums!” we may have a great answer to your problem. With gum contouring, we can reshape your gum tissue to create a more attractive smile, bringing balance to what some refer to as “gummy” smiles. Gum contouring can also be used to reshape gumlines damaged by recession.
For patients with a gummy smile, the gum contouring procedure will involve removing excess gum tissue. Your teeth will look longer and your smile will appear more balanced than before, and the procedure is relatively quick and easy. We use lasers to make the process more comfortable, and lasers also speed up the healing process.
Do you have an uneven gumline or a gumline that’s been affected by the ravages of gum recession? We can use our soft-tissue laser to perform gum contouring to even out your gumline, giving it a more attractive appearance.
We’ll make sure that the entire procedure is completely comfortable by using local anesthetic to numb your gums. Lasers have been shown to lessen the pain associated with various gum treatments, including gum contouring. Laser technology means little to no bleeding, better sterilization, more precision for greater control and more beautiful results, and faster healing. Gum contouring is occasionally combined with some bone reduction to change the shape of your smile.