A Holistic Approach to Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease is a destructive process that leads to the deterioration of the bone supporting your teeth and can cause a systemic response that leads to all kinds of health problems.
There are two elements of gum disease. One is infection, the other is inflammation.
How would I know if I have gum disease?
- Do you have bleeding gums?
- Are your gums receding?
- Are your gums red or puffy?
- Do you think you may have bad breath?
- Infection in Gum Disease
What is commonly called dental plaque, is actually a sticky coating loaded with disease-causing bacteria. As the plaque forms and thrives on your teeth, the bacteria release chemicals that begin break down of the lining of the gum tissue, allowing the bacteria to enter your gums. Eventually the bacteria penetrate your body’s defenses and can get into your bloodstream. Once there, these disease-causing bacteria may contribute to disease in your blood vessels, your heart, your brain, and other areas.
Inflammation in Gum Disease
As the bacteria begin to eat their way into the lining of your gums, your body’s defenses will rush to the site of the infection: chemicals are released and trigger enlargement to blood vessels in your gums, or swelling, will enlarge to bring extra blood and defensive cells from your immune system. Early in the infection, you may not even notice a difference, but over time the problem will become more deep seated and more invasive.
The Whole Body Consequences of Gum Disease
The bacteria that are involved with gum disease will eventually find their way through the body. Research has shown bacteria that originate in the mouth will become embedded in the walls of major blood vessels leading to the brain, the heart, the lungs, etc. They can be a major contributing factor to common diseases that lead to decline in your vitality over time. They will contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, pancreatic cancer and other life threatening conditions.
In addition to migrating from the mouth into other areas and organs in the body, these bacteria continue to trigger responses of our immune system that result in and contribute to chronic systemic inflammation. Through this process, chronic gum disease contributes to chronic degeneration elsewhere in the body.
Our Healthy Gum Program
Making your gums healthy is as easy as one, two, three! If you are dedicated to getting your mouth – and your body – healthy, you have come to the right place. Here is our three-step, holistic approach:
Step 1: Getting your plaque under control
Brushing and flossing your teeth, and using a water irrigation system such as Hydro Floss or Water Pik can keep your teeth clean, but sometimes it is not enough. If your problem is localized we often recommend the application of medication known as Arestin® to block the invasion of the bacteria into your gums.
For patients who have serious gum problems and difficulty getting their plaque under control, we will recommend the Perio Protect® program. It is an effective way of treating periodontal disease by cleaning out bacteria, allowing the body to heal, and reducing the need for surgery.
Perio Protect® is a comprehensive method that is customized for individual patients to help manage biofilms, communities of bacteria, growing in the spaces or pockets between teeth and gum tissue. The overall goal of the Perio Protect Method™ is to manage oral biofilm with minimally invasive dentistry for lasting oral health.
The Method is a combination of treatments, including a non-invasive chemical debriding therapy used in conjunction with traditional mechanical debriding procedures. The chemical therapy involves a tray delivery of doctor-prescribed solutions to chemically debride biofilm from the periodontal pocket and alter the pocket’s microbiological environment to disrupt biofilm growth.
The standard cleaning procedures in dental offices (e.g. scaling and root planing) help remove plaque and tartar and help reduce bacteria, but unfortunately bacteria reproduce quickly and biofilms regenerate very easily, so it is difficult to control them between office visits.
With the Perio Protect Method, you can place prescribed solutions into periodontal pockets with an appropriately formed, customized dental tray between office visits to help manage biofilm. Although a dentist must choose the most appropriate solution for individual patients, the most commonly prescribed solution with the Method has oxidizing and oxygenating agents. Oxidizing agents debride (chemically remove) the slimy protective coating of a biofilm and its underlying layers and also cleanse the oral wounds.
For most people following the Perio Protect Method, the placement of prescribed solutions into a periodontal pocket via a customized prescription tray requires only minutes each day. Patients describe the tray delivery as comfortable and appreciate its non-invasive technology.
The actual combination of mechanical treatment, chemical therapies, and prescribed treatment plan is determined by a dentist evaluating your specific conditions. To learn more about PerioProtect:
Step 2: Identifying and addressing systemic & constitutional factors
We frequently see signs of systemic inflammation as a result of your gums over-reacting to plaque building up around the teeth. Controlling the plaque and the body’s reaction to it is key to getting the problem under control. But there are other elements to consider, such as diet and biochemical balance.
Common denominators in systemic inflammation are toxicity, again heavy metals may contribute and an overly acidic condition of the body due to consumption of too much protein.
The general biochemical balance, in particular your salivary pH and the level of calcium and phosphorous in your body should be taken into consideration. The amount and frequency of your refined carbohydrate intake is also an important factor.
Step 3: Repairing the damage done to your gums
One of the consequences of gum disease is the development of gum pockets due to deteriorating bone around your teeth. In the past, the only solution was to cut away gum tissue, making it easier to reach the plaque building up on the teeth. But now, due to advances in our understanding of the biology of gum tissue and advances in technology, we have much more conservative methods that allow us to correct gum pockets.
If you have periodontal disease, please give us a call today and make a decision to dramatically turn your health around!