The mouth is an interesting thing. Many people consider it the gateway to our overall health. When you think about it…what’s in your mouth may travel down to other parts of the body, causing health complications or problems. An example of this is the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Much scientific evidence supports the idea that bacteria from the mouth may travel to other parts of the body, (such as the heart) and cause inflammation which in turn may increase the chances for heart disease.
Although a healthy mouth contains billions of bacteria in general, some bacteria may cause inflammation in the mouth that could lead to gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis may be characterized by red, swollen or tender gums. The gums may bleed easily and begin to receed. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease and could lead to periodontitis down the road.
Periodontitis may be either mild, moderate, or severe. When inflammation and infection are not treated properly or in a timely manner, the ligaments and the bone that support the teeth may cause the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Characteristics of periodontitis include swollen and tender gums, new spaced between the teeth, bad breath, loose teeth, bad taste in the mouth, etc.
When caught early, the treatment for periodontal disease can be very effective. First, the periodontal patient should recieve good home care instructions for oral hygiene. Also, regular trips to the dentist are very important.
In many cases if the periodontal disease is advanced, periodontal treatment may be necessary. Treatment often includes non-surgical therapy called scaling and root planing. This is designed to eliminate bacteria and toxins from the root’s surface to allow the body to begin the healing process. Plaque and calculus is also removed from the root surfaces and bacteria is removed to shrink periodontal pockets.
When periodontal disease is more severe and pockets are very deep, pocket reduction can be achieved through a procedure known as osseous surgery. Pocket reduction or elimination can be achieved by trimming away diseased gum tissue and reshaping uneven bone. Laser treatment is also an option.
Laser periodontal therapy utilizes a small, ultrasonic scaler, to get rid of tartar and bacteria in between the teeth. This tartar may be responsible for inflammed and bleeding gums. This treatment often does not require a scalpel or sutures and is virtually painless. Post-operative bleeding is very minimal as well.
Treating your periodontal disease can help save your teeth, your smile, and some money down the road! When you have healthy teeth, it could keep you from needing to replace them with dentures or dental implants down the road.
Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post, call us at (248) 357-3100 today. We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.