Periodontal disease, sometimes known as gum disease, is a condition caused by pathogenic bacteria and the inflammatory effect they have on the tissues surrounding the teeth. Bacteria are always present in the mouth, most being good and beneficial. Poor conditions may promote the growth of these more harmful, destructive bacteria, leading to an increased risk of disease.
The direct presence of these harmful bacteria, as well as toxins they produce can have a profoundly negative effect on your oral health, leading to deep pockets, bleeding gums, bad breath, bone loss and eventually loss of teeth. Numerous studies have also shown systemic problems linked to periodontal disease, and may include cardiovascular problems, arthritis, diabetes, and neurological problems such as dementia. These bacteria, once in the blood stream, may have the same inflammatory, destructive effect in the walls of an artery or in a joint as they have in the mouth.
Traditionally, the presence of symptoms such as deep pockets, bleeding gums and bone loss must be observed in order to diagnose this condition. This means a substantial amount of destruction must take place before it is even diagnosed. Our goal is to identify the potentially harmful bacteria before they are allowed to cause damage. Identification of these harmful bacteria is done through Phase Contrast Microscopy, which involves our doctors and hygienists viewing and visually identifying the type and number of bacteria present under magnification. If high-risk bacteria are observed, even without the presence of other symptoms such as pocketing or bone loss, specific protocols can then be utilized to eliminate them before disease is allowed to progress.
Our goal is always to treat periodontal disease non-surgically. This is done by early detection, focusing on the elimination of pathogenic bacteria, and adequate cleaning of the teeth and gums. Our hygienist has been trained to utilize a combination of potent anti-bacterial solutions, which used to gently and thoroughly flush out the pockets where the bacteria are present. Ultrasonic and hand instrumentation is then used to clean the plaque (soft deposits) and tartar (hard deposits) from the teeth. We will recommend a treatment plan that includes maintenance visits to our office, as well as proper home care to control the progression of disease. Treatment of this condition is a team approach, and adequate home care is very important.
Adequate home care is very important, and recommendations will be given that may include:
At the core of our Philosophy you will find the following belief: “…The goal of good dentistry is to help you keep all of your teeth for the rest of your life in maximum health, comfort, function and esthetics…” The most important service we offer our patients is assisting you in minimizing or preventing the need for future dental work. This is carried out by partnering alongside you in maintaining a healthy mouth.