What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease (sometimes also known as Pyorrhea, is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Left untreated, it causes loss of the bone anchoring your teeth- and subsequent loss of the teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, Periodontal Disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in the Untied States.
Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease
Did you know that people with gum disease are FOUR times more likely to be afflicted with Heart Disease than people who don’t?
That’s right. Recent studies at The University of Minnesota confirm that a chronic infection in your mouth (which is what Periodontal Disease is) allows the bacteria to enter your blood stream. These bacteria may cause blood clots and block your arteries, possibly even triggering a heart attack.
Other studies have shown that plaque bacteria entering the bloodstream through infected gums may also cause a potentially fatal heart disease called infective endocarditis. This is a bacterial infection which causes the sac around the heart to become inflamed.
Reduce Your Health Risks
- Have regular exams at our office.
- Have your teeth cleaned AT LEAST twice a year- sometimes more frequently if you build up plaque quickly.
- Brush and floss regularly…. AND remember to see us often.
Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Infections
Scientists have discovered a link between periodontal (gum) disease and respiratory infections. In fact, if you suffer from periodontal disease, you may be breathing bacteria into your lungs every day from the infection in your gums.
Periodontal Disease and Low Birth Weight Babies
Did you know that mothers with severe periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver pre-term, low-birthweight babies?, according to a study of 124 pregnant women conducted at the University of North Carolina and published in 1996 in the Journal of Periodontology. Researchers at the University of North Carolina think this is due to the body’s reaction to the bacteria in gums infected with periodontitis. When you have periodontal disease, bacterial toxins attack the bone, ligaments and gums that surround your teeth. You essentially have a large open wound in your mouth that creates a doorway for bacteria to enter your body through your bloodstream.
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy
What do laser assisted scaling and root planing treatments involve?- Laser assisted scaling and root planing treatments are only performed after a thorough examination of the mouth. The dentist will take X-rays, conduct visual examinations and make a diagnosis before recommending or beginning these procedures.
Depending on the current condition of the gums, the amount of calculus (tartar) present, the depth of the pockets and the progression of the periodontitis, local anesthetic may be used.
Scaling- This procedure is usually performed with special dental instruments and may include an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool removes calculus and plaque from the surface of the crown and root surfaces. In many cases, the scaling tool includes an irrigation process that can also be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums that can help reduce oral bacteria
Root Planing- This procedure is a specific treatment which serves to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed in order to promote good healing. Having clean, smooth root surfaces helps bacteria from easily colonizing in future.
Laser Treatment- Following these deep cleaning procedures, the gum pockets and root surfaces will be treated with a water laser to promote reattachment of the gum tissues. This will soothe irritation and help the gum tissues to heal quickly and promote reattachment of the gum tissue to the tooth.
During the next appointment, the dentist or hygienist will thoroughly examine the gums again to see how well the pockets have healed. If the gum pockets still measure more than 3mm in depth, additional and more intensive treatments may be recommended.