- Periodontal Disease – Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your bone that hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. In advanced stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen, and eventually fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak, but also affect the appearance of your smile.
- Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease – Persistent swelling, red and/or bleeding gums (which may be associated with tooth sensitivity from gum recession), deep pockets (a space between the tooth and gum), loose teeth, and even bad breath are among the warning signs of gum disease. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you could still have gum disease. In some people, gum disease may only appear in certain teeth. Only a Dentist, hygienist, or Periodontist can identify the presence of periodontal problems, its severity, and modalities of treatment.
- Periodontal Treatment – We emphasize a non-surgical treatment approach which includes scaling and root planning (cleaning below the gum line). Adjunctive therapy such as the local delivery of antimicrobials (Arestin and Atridox) can also be administered on a case-by-case basis. In some resistant cases, bacterial culture and microbial testing might be done. The use of Periostat, a broad spectrum antibiotic, might also be indicated in non responsive cases. Periodontal surgery may be recommended when the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be brought back to health by non-surgical treatments.
- What to expect for your Periodontal Exam – As a patient of Dr. Suzman, you can expect to receive the utmost in comfort and gentle dental care. During your initial hygiene appointment, a prophylaxis will be done and the depth of your pockets will be measured using a periodontal probe. Any recession, plaque, and bleeding spots will be recorded and your x-rays will be evaluated for any radiographic bone loss. Your periodontal status will be classified and appropriate periodontal treatments will be proposed to help manage this silent disease.
Periodontal Disease and Overall Health
If you have gum disease, the bacteria from swollen or bleeding gums can travel through the bloodstream, potentially worsening or causing other types of health problems. Recent studies suggest gum disease may contribute to, or be warning signs of potentially life threatening conditions such as:
- Heart Disease and Stroke – Studies suggest gingivitis may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it. Other studies have suggested that the inflammation in the gums may create a chronic inflammation response in other parts of the body which has also been implicated in increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Diabetes – Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, dry mouth and a variety of oral infections. Conversely, poor oral health can make your diabetes more difficult to control. Infections may cause your blood sugar to rise and require more insulin to keep it under control.
- Preterm Birth – Babies that are born premature — before 37 weeks of gestation — may face numerous health complications. Research indicates that women with periodontal disease are three to five times more likely to have a baby born preterm compared to women without any form of gum disease. It is vital for women to maintain excellent oral care before pregnancy and while pregnant.
- Osteoporosis – The first stages of bone loss may show up in your teeth. Systemic loss of bone density in osteoporosis, including bone in the jaw, may create a condition where the bone supporting your teeth is increasingly susceptible to infectious destruction. Your dentist may be able to spot this on a routine clinical examination or with dental X-rays. If bone loss worsens, your dentist can suggest that you discuss the issue with your other health care providers. Other conditions. Many other conditions may make their presence known in your mouth before you know anything’s wrong. These may include Sjogren’s syndrome, eating disorders, and certain types of cancers.
What you can do for your oral health
Maintain a proper at-home oral care regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. For your convenience, we offer the best oral care products in our office and our online store. It is also vital to maintain your routine dental hygiene appointments. By scheduling regular checkups, early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.