What is Soft Tissue Management?

Soft tissue management (STM) or non-surgical periodontal therapy involves the removal of bacterial plaque and tartar, which is present at and below the gum line.

What is Periodontal Disease & How Is It Treated?

Periodontal “gum” disease is typically a chronic infection caused by bacteria that works its way under the gum line, destroying the gum and eventually the bone that supports the teeth. To effectively take care of periodontal disease, the initial treatment is typically scaling and root planing. This treatment involves removing tartar at or below the gum line. “Scaling” is a necessary first step in the treatment process, and it clears the way for a deeper clean. “Root planing” involves cleaning plaque from below the gum line that is most often the culprits in periodontal disease. Local anesthetics are also used to numb the area for greater comfort. Scaling and root planing are vital in effectively treating the disease and allowing the gums and surrounding bone to heal properly. Collectively, these methods represent the fundamentals of STM or non-surgical periodontal therapy.

Once successfully completed, the scaling and root planing procedure should leave patients feeling little or no discomfort. Re-evaluation of the gum tissue should be done four to six weeks after the initial scaling and root planing procedure. If the non-surgical periodontal therapy effectively eliminates the gum disease, the only further requirement will be periodic maintenance every 3-4 months. With simple scaling and ultrasonic cleaning, the gum disease will not reoccur. For some patients, systemic antibiotics or antimicrobials may be prescribed to be taken orally to help treat their periodontal disease. Various antibiotics have been used in the past with some degree of success.

STM or non-surgical periodontal therapy initially eradicates the bacteria, but proper home care and frequent maintenance appointments are essential to preserve the periodontal health of the gum tissues. Proper maintenance and patient hygiene play a large role in eliminating bacterial growth.

Contact us to learn more about STM treatment.


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