Periodontal or Gum Disease Treatment
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is basically a bacterial infection with associated inflammation of the pockets between the gums and the teeth. It is prevalent in approximately 1/3 of the population on average and it typically occurs quietly and painlessly.
Periodontal Disease Effects on the Heart
Studies suggest that periodontal disease patients whose bodies show evidence of an inflammatory reaction to the bacteria associated with periodontitis may have an increased risk of developing heart disease. It was discovered that those people with gum disease showed a two- to four-times greater risk of having a heart attack. Some of the bacteria that are responsible for periodontal disease have been discovered in the plaques that clog the arteries, leading to heart attacks. The gum tissue of the mouth is rich with blood vessels, which allows for the transmittance of these bacteria to other parts of the body. Heart disease is definitely a condition that gets attention, but there are others that people should be aware of. Some other conditions that are linked to gum disease are complications with pregnancy and respiratory disease.
Gum disease is a disease that involves inflammation which is manifested in redness, swelling, and bleeding of the tissues. Research has demonstrated that there are correlations between periodontal disease and other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, treating oral inflammation may not only help manage periodontal disease but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Periodontal Disease Can Harm Pregnancy
It is common knowledge that due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, many women will have gingivitis or bleeding gums. But there is some evidence pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. There is also evidence that should a pregnant woman’s periodontal condition worsen during pregnancy, there is a much higher risk of premature birth.
Is Gum Disease Inherited from Parents?
Although there are certain genetic predilections for periodontal disease, it is a preventable and treatable condition. This is one reason why it is important to see your dentist for regular exams and professional cleanings in which your dentist and hygienist will make sure that you are not developing gum disease. Our comprehensive exam includes a thorough screening of all patients for any stage of gum disease.
Surprising Links Between Gum Disease and Your Health
Every year, cardiovascular disease kills more Americans than cancer. While many people are aware that lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercising and quitting smoking can help prevent cardiovascular disease, they may not know that by simply brushing and flossing daily they could prevent a host of serious systemic conditions such as heart disease that is due to gum disease.
Gum Disease Treatment
Treating periodontitis or gum disease is based upon the severity of the gum infection that the patient presents with and their own individual needs. Typical gum disease treatment will involve a special deep cleaning to remove any mineral buildup above and below the gum line, and most importantly to remove the bacterial biofilm that allows the bacteria to damage the gum tissue. Usually several weeks after a deep cleaning we will follow up to confirm that it has resolved. If there are local spots where it has not resolved completely, then we may follow up by either squirting some antibiotic gel into the site or in some cases with a special laser that eliminates the bacteria and accelerates the healing process.
Gum Disease Infographic