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.
Periodontal (gum) disease affects more than your smile. Studies show this infection of the gums can travel throughout the body to negatively affect your overall well-being, and put 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 that 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 Diode Laser Bacterial Reduction to your professional teeth cleaning to help fight Gingivitis and Periodontal (gum) disease.
Gingivitis and Periodontal disease affects approximately 75% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society. Understanding of this disease has increased greatly: We now know that periodontal disease is a specific bacterial infection in the gum tissue around teeth, which can cause attachment loss, and eventual tooth loss.
Bacterial plaque and hardened tarter cause the soft tissue inflammation that eventual leads bone destruction. Traditional hand instrumentation and ultrasonic scaling is Standard Practice. From clinical experience, we recommend that some of our patients have their teeth and gums treated with a diode laser during their periodontal therapy appointments for three 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 our mouths to flood into the 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 patients we know have a heart condition or artificial joints with antibiotics so bacteria cannot cause harm to such areas. Latest research shows that these oral pathogens have been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low-birth-weight babies, and diabetes. Needless to say, anything we can do to reduce or eliminate bacteria is positive for all our patients.
- To prevent spread of infections. Infections in one area of your mouth can spread 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.
- More confortable. Most people with a history of Periodontal disease already have attachments loss, and tend to complain of sensitive roots. Use of a diode laser is more comfortable against sensitive root surfaces.
Laser-Assisted Periodontal Therapy
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 rupturing the cell wall.
Signs of periodontal disease include bleeding gums, increased pocket depths, recession, bone loss, and tooth mobility, which often results 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 diseased tissue for removal
- Reduce the need for chemotherapeutics in some cases
Saliva Diagnostic Testing
Our office is pleased to announce the availability of three 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 some form of it.
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 you have a greater risk of developing 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 levels, 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 cancers, it’s essential 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 three 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 for 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 three.
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!