Preventing Gum Disease
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and Periodontal Diseases is by daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Tobacco usage
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal changes
Scaling and Root Planing Treatment
Although scaling and root planing is very similar to a regular cleaning, this procedure removes plaque and tartar from the root surface. Scaling and Root Planing is a deep cleaning technique to remove plaque and tartar from areas beneath the gums. This technique helps restore health to your gums and teeth and is commonly used to treat periodontal disease. In some cases, following the procedure, antibiotics may be placed in the periodontal pockets to control the infection and encourage normal healing.
This is a new technology developed for the treatment of periodontal disease. The perioscope is an endoscope that has been specifically designed to explore and visualize the pocket (space) under the gum of the tooth involved with periodontitis. An image on a computer monitor shows the diseased tooth’s root surface, enabling the clinician to see the contents of the periodontal pocket and analyze the root surface for disease causing bacterial accumulations (plaque and calculus).
The perioscope guides the clinician during the process of cleaning the root surface free of plaque and calculus – the treatment for periodontitis. Additionally, it also allows the clinician to identify other problems (cracks, perforations and other disease causing flaws of the tooth root’s surface) that are located under the gum – previously requiring surgery to detect.
Tobacco Effects on Oral Health
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.
Current studies have now linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. These cases may be even more severe than those of non-users of tobacco. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth as well as greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar slow down healing and the predictability of success following periodontal treatment.
Problems caused by tobacco include: Lung disease, heart disease, cancer, mouth sores, gum recession, loss of bone and teeth, bad breath, tooth staining, less success with periodontal treatment, and with dental implants.
Quitting tobacco will reduce the chance of developing the above problems.
Diabetes Effects on Oral Health
Individuals suffering from diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetics, have a higher risk of developing bacterial infections of the mouth. These infections may impair your ability to process insulin, resulting in greater difficulty with controlling your diabetes. Periodontal diseases will be more severe than those of a non-diabetic and treatment more difficult. However, well-controlled diabetics have a lower incidence of cavities.
Steps to prevent periodontal disease include daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, regular dental visits for professional cleaning, and regular periodontal evaluation. Your health professional must also be told of your history and the current status of your condition. And finally, you can help resist periodontal infection by maintaining control of your blood sugar levels.
Dr. Greggory Wilde, Periodontist at Lowell Street Dental Implant and Surgical Center in Silverdale,WA
Serving the Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap County & Jefferson County communities including Silverdale, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, Sequim & Port Orchard WA Serving Silverdale, Bremerton, Port Orchard, WA