Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around teeth and is caused by plaque and calculus. Bacteria in the sticky plaque biofilm on teeth lead to gum inflammation. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many. Periodontitis is a bacterial infectious disease of the tissues that hold teeth in your mouth. The bacteria cause inflammation which leads to loss of connective tissue and bone that anchors teeth. If periodontal disease progresses it can lead to tooth loss and systemic health problems. Gum disease is a phrase used to refer to gingivitis and/or periodontitis.
One of the main purposes of your dental cleaning appointment is to make sure you have healthy periodontium- gums, connective tissue, and bone surrounding your teeth. Your dental hygienist is the first line of defense against gingivitis and periodontitis. At Pearl Dental Care, we have the latest technology for promoting the best periodontal health possible, including the Air-Flow Master Piezon and Periolase Laser.
Recent medical studies indicate that periodontal disease is linked with several systemic health diseases. Heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide, is associated with and exacerbated by the bacteria that cause periodontitis. In addition, periodontal disease is associated with diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and pregnancy problems. Treating periodontal disease is no longer a concern for just your teeth, but your entire well-being.
Patients with inflammatory conditions are encouraged to get frequent periodontal examinations. In addition, women considering pregnancy are highly advised to get a periodontal examination because periodontitis is associated with premature births and low birth rates. Patients with relatives who have periodontal disease (bacteria can be exchanged in saliva), have diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis should get frequent dental examinations. Parents must take especially good care of their mouths when caring for babies because bacteria are transferred from parents to their babies.
Gum disease has various stages:
Gingivitis- Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease and is the most mild. Many patients do not even realize they have a problem. Symptoms include red swollen gums that bleed easily. With improved home-care, gingivitis can be reversed.
Periodontitis- Untreated gingivitis leads to periodontitis. The inflammatory response caused by the bacterial toxins is escalated leading to irreversible bone and tissue damage. Pockets may form below that gum that can trap food and plaque leading to more damage. Gum recession may also occur. Teeth may become loose.
Advanced Periodontitis- Fibers and bone supporting the teeth are destroyed leading to tooth and bone loss.
Symptoms that may indicate a need for periodontal therapy:
Red, swollen, tender gums
Gums that bleed easily
Gums that recede or pull back from the teeth
Change in bite
Treatment Early stages of gum disease can be reversed with improved home-care and more frequent cleanings by your dentist or hygienist. Brushing at home will not remove the hard calculus, but it can remove plaque. It is important to maintain scheduled cleanings at our office to prevent the build-up of plaque and calculus.
The Air-Flow Master Piezon is a remarkable new device for gingivitis and periodontal disease. The Air-Flow technology uses air polishing to disrupt the biofilm in periodontal pockets. The biofilm (like any biofilm in nature such as in plumbing) is a habitat of a diverse collection of bacteria in a sticky environment. The biofilm is what causes gingivitis and periodontitis. The Air-Flow technology can remove the biofilm both above and below the gums. While this may sound trivial, the Master Piezon is revolutionary in that it allows the clinician to clean biofilm at deep levels that previously required much more invasive treatment.
The Air-Flow Master Piezon is important because:
Fights stains and bacteria that cause gingivitis, periodontitis, and cavities
Removes biofilm around dental implants to help prevent peri-implantitis
Cleans teeth before sealants are placed for a longer-lasting sealant
Cleans teeth before fillings and veneers for longer-lasting restorations
Cleans teeth before applying braces
Cleans teeth before whitening
Pearl Dental Care offers a new treatment option for mild to moderate periodontal disease called Perio Protect.. The problem with most medication options for periodontal disease is that the medicine does not stay under the gums effectively. Perio Protect uses custom mouth trays (see above) to isolate medication below the gums for as long as the trays are worn. Proper use of Perio Protect and excellent home care allow the body’s natural immune system to more effectively fight the bacteria that cause disease.
Patients find that the Perio Protect trays are very comfortable. When combined with scaling and root planing and improved oral hygiene, patients can see a dramatic improvement in oral health. Perio Protect is not for everyone. For advanced cases of periodontal disease, the LANAP protocol (see below) is the recommended treatment option. All of your options can be reviewed at your next check-up at Pearl Dental Care.
Millenium Dental Technologies PerioLase
PerioLase Dental Laser
Dr. Gary Pearl is very pleased to announce that our practice has a Millenium Dental Technologies PerioLase. The PerioLase is a laser that is used to treat periodontal disease. What does this laser do? This Nd:YAG laser is specifically designed for the LANAP protocol to treat periodontal disease. The laser removes dead tissue and kills harmful bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Combined with an ultrasonic instrument, patients are treated much faster and less painful that traditional open flap periodontal surgery. In addition, there is much less bleeding and we have seen phenomenal results.
The procedure is fast and you will probably feel well enough to go to work afterwards. Unlike traditional gum surgery, there are no stitches! When used in combination with scaling and root planing, the PerioLase/ LANAP protocol can save diseased teeth that would have otherwise been lost due to periodontal disease. .