The Goal: No Disease
Did you know that bleeding of your gum tissues may be a sign of chronic inflammation and that this inflammation can lead to stroke, heart disease, need for increased insulin in diabetics and low birth weight premature babies? This can be prevented with proper treatment here in our office and at home with proper oral hygiene techniques, equipment, and oral disinfection using specialized products.
Many of you know me by now. If you don’t, then you need of a dental hygiene therapy appointment, call Debbie to schedule! Dr. Klim and I have been revamping the periodontal department to meet the newest research on whole body health in regards to inflammation.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a response to tissue injury. This is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact we could not survive without this response. Inflammation is the release of biochemicals by mast cells located in the tissue surrounding blood vessels. These cells defend the body against infection and help repair tissue.
The bad part is…biochemicals cause the release of C-reactive protein (CRP) by the liver. CRP is considered a marker of systemic inflammation. High CRP serum levels have been linked to chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.
Oral inflammation and systemic disease
In periodontal disease, plaque penetrates deep within the gum tissue. This plaque contains bacteria which triggers the inflammatory response. As periodontitis (gum disease) progresses, CRP is produced. The more periodontitis, the higher the CRP.
How can this be prevented?
You do your part by keeping your teeth free of bacterial plaque. You know the drill…brush and floss, brush and floss!
Here’s where I come in, with cleaning methods personalized for you at your periodontal therapy appointment.
Can inflammation be treated?
Yes! It is such a great time to be a periodontal therapist. There are new modalities and technologies that help me manage your gum disease. We use micro ultrasonic scaling to debride (fancy word for clean) the periodontal pockets. This method cleans around/under the gums and removes more bacteria than hand scaling. It is gentler to your tooth root structure, removing 10 times less root surface than hand scaling. The pinnacle of bacterial kill rests with my LASER!
To really zap the bugs that cause gum disease, the laser stands at the top. It kills bacteria and removes the diseased gum tissue only. The inside of the diseased gum pocket is dark red and is full of dead tissue. Our laser specifically penetrates only this tissue and stops when healthy tissue is reached. Treating periodontal inflammation can be simple, requiring only a small laser treatment during your regularly scheduled appointment. Others may need more extensive laser therapy to help reduce pockets that are too deep and have too much inflammation. We can also apply an antibiotic that is place directly into the pocket and dissolves over a 2 week period in conjunction with laser therapy. This localized approach to antibiotic therapy reduces systemic uptake to a very tiny amount so we do not cause antibiotic resistance.
Today’s technology allows us to treat disease as soon as it is detected instead of waiting until the bone is so broken down that patients need the services of a periodontist. As new technology comes along, rest assured that Dr. Klim and I will be ON IT!
Renee Marchant, RDH