Periodontal disease (or “gum disease”) is a biofilm bacterial infection of the roots and gums that can’t be treated with regular antibiotics alone. When your gums get irritated by bacteria in your mouth, they often recede from the teeth and create deep pockets where more bacteria can hide and flourish. In the early stages, you might not experience any discomfort or notice any symptoms. When left untreated, gum disease can damage the bone supporting your teeth, leading to tooth loss.
Routine exams along with annual X-rays help us monitor the health of your gums, teeth, and the bones that support your teeth. We also use periodontal measurements to assess the health of your gums surrounding your teeth, screening for signs of bone loss and inflammation in the gum tissue. It’s important that we detect even small changes from one appointment to the next, so if needed, we can personalize a periodontal treatment plan for you before serious problems have a chance to develop.
Having a healthy mouth is important to your overall whole-body health. Periodontal disease is ultimately an inflammatory disease, so controlling inflammation in your mouth will provide health benefits throughout your body and lower your risk for other chronic diseases. Many studies have linked periodontal disease to other chronic inflammatory problems such as heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, and pregnancy complications. There are more than 50 different chronic conditions now being researched in relation to periodontal disease. Inflammation seems to be the common player among these diseases. So healthy gums impact far more than just your teeth.
Advancements in science have uncovered common pathogens that directly cause gum disease. We provide oral DNA testing to identify the amount and types of bacteria present. We can also check for HPV virus and inflammatory markers. These metrics allow us to see how well our treatments and your homecare techniques are working.
A thorough risk assessment and regular check-ups will increase your chances of early detection and prevention of gum disease, which allows us to take a conservative approach to treatment. Bacterial DNA testing may be part of the diagnostic process. In addition to individualized instruction regarding home care techniques and products, we also perform Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) with our periodontal therapy, gum pocket irrigation to kill bacteria, and local antibiotic placement in areas of unhealthy pocketing. Most patients experience improvement after treatment with significant reduction in inflammation.