Periodontal disease effects more then 47% of the American population. There have been several scientific papers identifying the link between periodontal disease and other health problems. Most notably cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in your mouth that create plaque. Plaque is the white film that grows on your teeth when it has not been removed by a toothbrush. If plaque is left in place long enough, it becomes hardened by minerals in your saliva. When it becomes hardened it is referred to as tarter or calculus. When tarter builds up below the gumline, the body responds to it like a splinter in your hand. Your gums become inflamed and bleed easily during brushing and eating. As a result of the inflammation, your body tries to defend itself and begins to dissolve away the bone around the teeth. Left untreated, this results in more bacteria, more tarter, more inflammation, and eventually more bone loss. The bone loss causes the teeth to be lose and not functional for chewing. This also makes the teeth look longer in many cases. This can also create a pocket of gum tissue around the tooth that no longer has bone in it. These pockets of gum tissue harbor many damaging bacterias that live in the tarter and calculus.
If you are one of the millions of people that have periodontal disease, your body is constantly fighting an low grade infection. This taxes your system overtime and increases the amount of inflammatory defense mechanisms in your blood. The same blood that travels through your mouth travels to the rest of your body and has the potential to inflict damage to your heart or other vital organs.
As Periodontal Specialists, Dr. Blasingame have extensive training to help restore you back to health. After a thorough exam, a personalized treatment plan will be recommended. This may include several different options. First, the removal of any teeth that have too advanced of bone loss and can not be treated. Next deep cleanings on teeth that have developed a gum pocket to remove the damaging bacteria and tarter.
Bone regeneration may be a possibility. In many cases we are able to re-grow some of the bone that was lost. In areas new bone can not be grown, extra gum tissue is removed and the bone is shaped in a way to eliminate the gum pocket and make it easier to clean.
We will also work with you to develop a plan to help you prevent future problems in the future. We work very closely with your general dentist to alternate between your periodontal maintenance visits. We will often times ask to see you more regularly to eliminate the disease process from coming back.