Gum disease is bad news! This bacterial infection of the gums can sneak up on you and stealthily begin its destructive work. Think you’re immune? Here’s something to think about from the FDA:
75% of all Americans over age 35 have some form of gum disease.
To combat gum disease, Water Tower Dental Care offers proven treatments. Our on-site periodontist (gum tissue specialist) will assess the degree of gum disease present in your mouth, then work with you to renew the health of your gums.
Periodontal (gum) disease affects more than your smile. Studies show that this infection of the gums can travel throughout the body to negatively affect your overall wellbeing, putting you at risk for osteoporosis, dementia, heart attack, stroke, respiratory problems, infant low birth weight, diabetes complications, and more.
- Early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis, can be remedied with effective brushing and flossing at home and a thorough cleaning by a member of our hygiene team.
- Topical antibiotic therapy treats gum disease that has advanced beyond gingivitis.
- Gum disease at its worst is called periodontitis. At this stage, damage to gum tissue, teeth, and bone is severe. Our gum disease specialist treats periodontitis with non-surgical and surgical technqiues alleviate infection and promote gum/tooth reattachment.
Laser Bacterial Reduction
We are constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care in our office. As such, we have successfully added a procedure in the past few years to your professional teeth cleaning to help fight Gingivitis and Periodontal (gum) disease.
Gingivitis and Peridontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society. Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years, and we now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissues around teeth. We now not only treat periodontal/gum disease with the removal of mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (your normal cleaning) but also addressing the underlying infection that causes it. With that thought in mind, we recommend that some of our patients have their teeth and gums treated with a diode laser during their cleaning appointments for 3 major reasons:
- To reduce or eliminate bacteria. During the professional teeth cleaning process most patients will have some areas that may bleed. This allows bacteria (pathogens) that are present in all of our mouths to flood into bloodstream and sometimes settle in the weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or artificial knee, hip, etc. We typically pre-medicate those patients that we know have a heart condition or artificial joints with antibiotics so that these bacteria cannot cause harm to these areas. Latest research shows that these oral pathogens have not been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight, babies, and diabetes. Needless to say, anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate bacteria is positive for all our patients.
- To prevent contamination of infections of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up bacterial infections in one area of the mouth and move it to another.
- To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop the infection before they cause physical destruction or loss of bony support around your teeth.
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy (LAPT)
Periodontal disease has been linked to several systemic diseases including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Low birth weight and pre-term birth babies
- Pulmonary diseases
- Pancreatic Cancer
At Water Tower Dental Care our hygiene team now uses soft tissue dental laser along with Ultrasonic Scalers. This dental laser delivers light energy locally to the periodontal pocket and the infected site to kill the bacteria by rupture of the cell wall. This laser energy prohibits bacteria resistance and there are no contra-indications as there is with chemotherapeutics.
When instrumentation alone is used for periodontal disease, repeat “deep cleaning” is necessary every 1-2 years. The percentage of success is only 60%. With the use of Lasers and continued home care, the success rate is 90%.
Signs of periodontal disease include bleeding gums, increased pocket depths, recession, bone loss, and tooth mobility often resulting in the loss of the tooth. As the pocket depths increase, so does the accumulation of both hard and soft debris, which creates the perfect opportunity for periodontal disease to progress. To determine the necessary treatment, a full periodontal assessment is required and should include notation of all the factors mentioned above.
Incorporating the laser will:
- Reduce the bacterial count within the pocket
- Coagulate only the diseased tissue for removal
- Reduce the need for chemotherapeutics
Saliva Diagnostic Testing
Our office is pleased to announce the availability of 3 laboratory tests relating to oral health.
One of the conditions is gum disease, which can result in loss of your teeth. Bacteria and inflammation cause gum disease. More than 50% of Americans have gum disease. The other condition is oral cancer. Oral cancer can be caused by infection with a virus called HPV and by tobacco and alcohol use. HPV-related oral cancer occurs most often in people who don’t smoke or drink very much. A different kind of oral cancer occurs in smokers who drink a lot. About 36,000 Americans get oral cancer every year.
The MyPerioID PST test can tell if you have specific changes in your DNA. These changes might mean that you have a greater risk of getting gum disease.
The MyPerioPath test is for patients who actually have gum disease. It finds out which bacteria are triggering the gum disease. Once we know which bacteria are in your mouth and at what amount, we can come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. For example, this information can help us select the right antibiotic for you. We highly recommend this test if you have gum disease that has not responded to previous treatment.
The OraRisk HPV test can tell if you have an HPV infection in your mouth. If you do, you might have a greater risk of getting HPV-related oral cancer. Like most cancer, it’s important to detect oral cancer early. If we know you have an HPV infection, we can watch you very closely for signs of oral cancer. We suggest you consider having this test if you are a non-smoker and don’t drink a lot.
All 3 of these tests are performed using a saliva sample, which is collected in our office. The sample is easy and fast to collect. Simply swish a sterile saline (salt) solution in your mouth and spit it into a container. The sample is then sent out for testing. When the results come back, Dr. Aneszko will tell you what your results are and what they mean to your oral health.
Please let us know if you have more questions and let us know if you are interested in one of these test or all 3.
Treat your smile to a little bit of luxury in the heart of Chicago! Call Water Tower Dental Care today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aneszko or Dr. Stino. From our offices in Water Tower Place building on The Magnificent Mile, we offer a level of service that’s anything but ordinary!