Protect your gums and keep your teeth for life!

A Guide to gum disease prevention and prompt care

Dental decay and periodontal (gum) disease are the leading causes of tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented by partnering with the skilled and kind team at VanderLaan Family Dentistry in Byron Center, Michigan. When treated promptly, the effects of early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed and prevented from coming back.

Prevent and protect

Dr. Matthew VanderLaan recommends routine dental check-ups to stop gum disease before it starts. For patients who do not have risk factors for gum disease, such as smoking or vaping, check-ups are scheduled once every six months. During these visits, our skilled dental hygienists use special tools and techniques to gently and thoroughly remove stubborn plaque build-up (tartar or calculus) from the teeth and gum line. 

Plaque and bacteria cause a destructive, autoimmune reaction by the body’s cells.  The body reacts to the irritants and causes the gum tissues to become inflamed and unhealthy.  This irritation, over time, will cause the breakdown of the attachments between the teeth and gums and the bony tissue in the jaw.  By regularly removing the plaque and bacteria in the pocket areas, we help to manage the disease process and curtail the damage. 

Prompt, conservative treatment

Our hygienists will also look for signs of gingivitis or periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease, during regular cleanings. They use special instruments to measure the spaces or pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets form and grow larger as periodontal disease progresses.  Such measurements can provide insight into the presence and severity of any existing disease.  We also utilize Bite Wing radiographs to view the bone levels.  This is also a key indicator of periodontal health and stability.

 Dr. VanderLaan will also examine the gums and surrounding tissues and structures. He may recommend therapies such as Scaling and Root planning, also known as deep cleaning.   Sc/RP is a non-surgical way to resolve active periodontal disease. It involves removing bacteria, plaque, and tartar from underneath the gumline. Since bacteria tend to attach to rough root surfaces, we can also smooth these areas, which inhibits such destructive organisms from accumulating. We will monitor how your gums are healing following treatment. Many of our patients avoid further treatment and more aggressive surgical and regenerative procedures by undergoing this type of non-surgical intervention, known as Scaling and Root planning.

All patients, regardless of health status, benefit from our kind, non-judgmental, and helpful approach to providing tailored tips and guidance on everything from flossing easily and effectively to using the right mouthwash and toothbrush. 

From our office in Byron Center, VanderLaan Family Dentistry is proud to support the oral health needs of individuals and their families from Wyoming, Dorr Township, Kentwood, Grandville, Wayland, Hudsonville, and greater western MI. Call us at (616) 288-2554 with questions or to schedule your check-up today!