As we learn more about how oral health and overall health are related, we understand the importance of periodontal care. Stanford Dental is a health-centered practice, which means that we operate with the knowledge of how dentistry and oral health affect the entire body.
Periodontal disease has been linked with other health concerns in the body such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and vice versa because we now understand that the bacteria causing a periodontal infection can travel through the bloodstream and contribute to the inflammation causing these other health issues.
This is known as the oral systemic link, and it is why periodontal health is a focus for patients at Stanford Dental.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Also referred to simply as gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection of your gums and bone, which are responsible for supporting your teeth. The bacteria found in the excess plaque buildup irritate your gum tissue and cause your gums to separate from your teeth, providing space for more bacteria and setting off a chain reaction. When your gums separate from your teeth, it allows the bacteria below the gum line, where they can infect your jawbone.
If it’s left untreated, gum disease will eventually destroy your gums and bone, eliminating support for your teeth and resulting in tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
The Early Signs of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease in which you may notice that your gums appear red and swollen or that they bleed when you brush your teeth. Chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away is also a telltale sign of gingivitis.
If you notice these symptoms, contact Stanford Dental right away for a cleaning and examination. Gingivitis can often be managed successfully with a thorough cleaning and improved home care when you are proactive about seeking treatment.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. If your condition has progressed to this stage, you may notice that your gums are receding or your teeth feel mobile.
In this stage, Dr. Stanford may recommend antibiotic therapy, a deeper cleaning to reach below the gum line, additional cleanings throughout the year, and surgery in the most severe cases.
The Importance of Preventative Care
Your first line of defense against periodontal disease is your preventative appointments every six months.
Dr. Stanford will screen you for gum disease at every examination, while our skilled hygienists will remove the plaque and tartar that cause it. It is our goal to prevent periodontal disease before it ever has the chance to start. We are your partners in achieving optimum oral health and we will make individual recommendations that are suited for your specific needs so you can take better care of your teeth when you are not in our office .
Our hygienists are laser certified and we often use laser therapy during cleanings to kill the bacteria that cause gum disease. You might benefit from an LBR (Laser Bacterial Reduction) treatment, which helps eliminate the bacteria that causes gum disease. Or we may recommend LAPT (Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy), which removes diseased tissue if you are already experiencing an infection.
If it is time your next cleaning and checkup, give your Manchester dentist a call today to schedule your appointment.