The key to lifelong healthy teeth is to care for both our teeth and our supporting bone and gums. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic, inflammatory, bacterial infection that threatens gum tissue health and poses a significant risk to a patient's overall systemic health.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Think of periodontal disease as a gum and bone disease. When bacterial biofilm (plaque) grows around the gum line of your teeth, your body's initial protective response is to become inflamed, red, puffy, and bleeding upon brushing or flossing. This inflammation is your body's natural defense to reject and contain foreign objects and infectious agents. If this condition is not addressed, the bacteria become more
destructive and begin eating away at the gum tissue and the bone anchoring the root of the tooth. If left untreated, this condition leads to loose teeth, gum recession, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss.
Medical research has confirmed that gum tissue breakdown serves as a portal for dangerous bacteria and their toxic byproducts to enter the patient's blood stream, causing potentially harmful effects to the rest of the organs. Maintaining the good health of your gums and bone will not only help to keep your teeth for a lifetime, but will also help prevent and control systemic diseases including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Periodontal Therapy Procedures at Main Street Dentists
Periodontal therapy at Main Street Dentists includes these surgical and non-surgical techniques to restore health to the tissues that support the teeth (gums and bone) and prevent tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing. This treatment uses a variety of dental instruments customized for the patient to remove bacterial toxins from the teeth and root surfaces in the areas of infection.
There is no blanket antibiotic coverage that will help solve gum disease long-term. The mouth is full of bacteria, and it is difficult to specifically attack the ones creating the most damage. However, based on each patient's unique condition, we may recommend prescription medications to combat gum disease based upon salivary testing.
Topical Fluoride Application
Once root surfaces are exposed, they can become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Since root surfaces are less mineralized than enamel, they are also more susceptible to tooth decay. Regular fluoride application is an important tool to decrease sensitivity and protect against decay. As an added bonus, fluoride is a natural antimicrobial agent and acts to suppress plaque and biofilm formation.
Pinhole Gum Surgery
Pinhole Gum Surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that helps to thicken gum tissues and can cover exposed tooth root surfaces. See our page on Pinhole Gum. Surgery to learn more about this procedure.
Your Home Care is Key
Stopping gum disease requires a team approach. We'll motivate and support you to do the home care required each day to remove dental plaque and manage your periodontal disease.
Let Main Street Dentists partner with you to have the healthiest teeth and gums possible!
Drs. John and Kate Schacherl
are general dentists who perform a wide variety of restorative and cosmetic procedures at Main Street Dentists, 105 North Main Street, Verona, WI. Some of the restorative and cosmetic procedures performed at Main Street Dentists include: Traditional Orthodontics, Invisalign®, Propel® Orthodontics, ZOOM! Whitening, Botox® and Juvederm® for cosmetic and therapeutic use, the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, Dental Implants, CEREC One-Day Crowns, and Full-Mouth Restorations.
For more information, please contact us today or call us at 608-845-6127