There’s a chronic disease running rampant in our country and across the world that is putting our gums and bodies at risk of serious problems. Periodontal disease is one of the leading chronic diseases in the world and has been linked to diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. Advanced stages of periodontal disease can cause jawbone deterioration and loss of teeth.
At Eugene Family Dental, we work with patients to educate them about the dangers of periodontal disease and provide minimally invasive treatments for our patients struggling with this chronic problem.
Though it’s possible for patients to have no physical signs of gum disease, here are some common signs of gum disease:
– Swollen or bleeding gums
– Tenderness of the gums or teeth
– Sores in the mouth
– Constant bad breath
– Loose teeth
– Separating teeth
Periodontal disease is so common that it is estimated that about 75 percent of the population will struggle with some form of the disease. The chronic inflammatory disease starts much like any other problem in the mouth: through bacteria. When bacteria attaches itself to the teeth and near the gum, it creates plaque and tartar, which can develop a harmful periodontal pocket. A periodontal pocket occurs when an infection is present between the gums and teeth. If this infection is left untreated, it can spread throughout the mouth and cause total tooth loss!
Patients can do themselves a huge favor by maintaining their dental visits and brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Flossing, of course, is a huge part of the equation to a healthy mouth. About 60 percent of your tooth is above the surface of the gums, but that means that 40 percent of the tooth is below the gums. When we skip flossing, you do not clean a substantial portion of the tooth and allow bacteria to build up on the tooth.
Unfortunately, it’s possible to practice great oral hygiene and still be a victim of periodontal disease just like it’s possible to have cavities even though you religious about your brushing and flossing.
Many researchers believe that a cause-and-effect relationship exists between periodontal disease and heart disease and periodontal disease and diabetes. While this has not been proven, it’s widely believed by dentists and scientists that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be the culprit.
How We Treat Periodontal Disease
Just as new information continue to arise about the widespread reach of periodontal disease, we also have new method for treating this invasive problem. For years, dentists treated periodontal disease only with an invasive surgery that required cutting and stitches. The procedure was no walk in the park for the patient, and the recovery was typically very lengthly.
Today we have special soft-tissue lasers to treat periodontal pockets and keep your teeth healthy. Because I use the laser for periodontal disease, I don’t have to use scalpels or sutures on patients. This sets the stage for a healthy recovery because the lasers allow the gum tissue and teeth to naturally re-attach. Some studies have found that you can recover in about 24 hours after laser surgery. Most forms of periodontal disease cannot be cured, which is why we need to see our periodontal patients more frequently than other patients. Bacteria in the periodontal pocket can multiply quickly and return within a matter of weeks. We recommend that our patients with periodontal disease visit our office every three to four months for cleanings and exams. That way we can treat any advancements in the periodontal disease before it infects the bone and healthy teeth.
The special thing about our office is that we offer a variety of services under one roof. While many area dentists send patients to specialists, I have the training to treat your gum disease at my office. We don’t ask you to drive all around town to complete your treatment. We want you to have confidence knowing that we have the skills and education to handle your treatment.
If you have signs of periodontal disease or you need a dentist who can handle all aspects of your dental care, call our office today to set up a meeting.