Protect your gums, protect your teeth with professional cleanings tailored to your unique needs
Our “family” in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is privileged to keep your family’s smiles healthy and looking great. A cornerstone of such care at Westlake Family Dentistry is the “dental checkup.” During checkups, our dentist, Dr. Brad Sievert, examines your teeth and gums. Our skilled dental hygienists also provide professional cleanings that remove what can’t be brushed or flossed away: stubborn plaque buildup, better known as “calculus” or “tartar.”
Periodontal cleaning, tailored to your needs
The term “periodontal” refers to the structures that surround and support your teeth. Healthy gummy tissue is taut, appears pinkish-to-reddish, and doesn’t hurt when you floss or brush. Patients with healthy teeth and gums can benefit from the “standard” professional cleaning at our practice. This cleaning keeps your teeth and gums that way – healthy – and prevents gum inflammation and disease. Our experienced and knowledgeable hygienists gently remove surface stains, plaque, harmful bacteria, and food particles from the teeth and gum lines.
These cleanings are generally scheduled once every six months; however, patients with risk factors for gum and oral disease should have their teeth professionally cleaned by us more frequently. These risk factors include habits like smoking and the use of other tobacco products and comorbidities that can impair the immune system and interfere with the body’s ability to protect itself from threats (such as the pathogens that promote the development of progressive gum disease). Some people also build up more tarter or build up tarter faster and need to have their teeth cleaned more often than every 6 months to avoid the tarter buildup causing gum inflammation and bleeding.
If Dr. Sievert finds that your gums are inflamed and determines that active periodontal disease is present, he may recommend a “deep clean” known as scaling and root planing (SRP).
The ABC’s of SRP
Gum disease is a destructive condition; however, since it is mainly progressive, there are opportunities to halt the disease or prevent it from advancing to periodontitis. Gingivitis presents an earlier stage of the disease. At this point, its effects can be reversed. A severe form of the disease, periodontitis, is characterized partly by the gums receding or parting from the teeth. The spaces in between are “periodontal pockets,” which further harbor bacteria and plaque. Untreated, periodontitis breaks down the soft and hard tissues. Once the bone is lost, it is lost for good. So, it is vital that Dr. Sievert resolves underlying gingival conditions promptly.
SRP is a non-surgical alternative to the standard, six-month cleaning. Our team uses specialized tools and a skilled hand to remove harmful germs, plaque, and tartar from the perio pockets between the teeth and gums. Additionally, the root surfaces are smoothed in a process known as “root planing” to prevent pathogens from collecting in rough areas. This process encourages the healthy reattachment of the gums to the teeth. With proper follow-up, many of our patients have smiled comfortably and confidently again after SRP, with no additional treatment needed.
Please do not wait for potential signs of gum disease, from bleeding when you brush and floss to swelling, to arise before you reach out to our friendly team in Lake Oswego. Call Westlake Family Dentistry at (503) 662-9176 today to schedule your checkup with Dr. Sievert.