The number ONE cause of adult tooth loss is Periodontal Disease!
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that can lead to damage to the gums, tissue, and bone around your teeth. Gum disease has many risk factors including smoking, diabetes, age and other systemic diseases. Most people have very little symptoms until gum disease is in its later stages. Some earlier symptoms can include persistent bad breath, red, swollen or bleeding gums and teeth that might be shifting.
A complete health assessment is made at your initial appointment and we feel it is very important for us to know of any health conditions you may have and any medications you may be taking. The American Academy of Periodontology reports, “studies found periodontal infection may contribute to the development of heart disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight births, and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to diabetes and respiratory diseases.” When gums are infected, the bacteria enter the blood stream and travel to all the vital organs in the body.
Non Surgical Gum Treatment
At Tarpon Dental our hygienist is extensively trained in nonsurgical periodontal therapy protocols, such as scaling and root planing. This procedure involves cleaning the teeth root surfaces to get rid of plaque and tartar buildup from deep gum pockets. Once this is done, the tooth root is smoothed so that additional bacterial toxins are removed. t is important to maintain a good schedule of recare to ensure periodontal disease can be kept stabilized. Sometimes prescription antibiotics will be recommended by Dr. Amin. Our hygienist will also make recommendations on homecare protocols to ensure our patients can effectively keep things healthy in between cleanings.
Arestin is an FDA approved prescription antibiotic that can be placed in the infected pockets of gum tissue. The tiny microspheres slowly work with time to help heal these areas.
What causes Gum Disease?
Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.
The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth”). In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.