Healthy Smile = Healthy Body
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is the most chronic infection affecting Americans and adults in general. It’s a chronic bacterial infection that impacts the gums and bone that support teeth. 80-90% of Americans currently have some form of periodontal disease. Severity increases with age. It is also linked to systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and an increased risk of stroke.
Most people are unaware of their periodontal condition because it often has no symptoms of pain or discomfort other than bleeding gums, which many think is normal. It is not. Healthy gums do not bleed.
The only way to achieve a proper diagnosis is through a detailed examination of your gums, teeth and bone provided at a reputable dental office providing service that meets or exceeds the standard of care for periodontal treatment. This exam includes images of the teeth and bone along with a detailed measurement of your gums on six points in every tooth.
We utilize laser and piezo-electric instrumentation during the treatment of our patients with periodontal disease to gain optimal healing results.
Healthy Mouth Standard
Gum disease is diagnosed by measuring the depth of the gum pockets around every tooth as well as by assessing the color, consistency and position of the gum as it is related to the teeth and the bone that supports them. A healthy mouth requires the following:
- Gum pocket depths of no more than 3 millimeters
- No bleeding or pus production
- Adequate home care
- Balanced and appropriate forces on the teeth (no clenching and grinding)
- Proper maintenance schedule
Warning signs of gum disease include the following:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
Your dental health can affect your overall health.
Conditions arising from periodontal disease are the 7th leading cause of death for those with diabetes. Periodontal disease worsens diabetes and visa versa. Those diagnosed with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have diabetes.
85% of patients who have heart attacks have periodontal disease. Those with periodontal disease have 1.5-4 times greater likelihood of having heart disease, twice the risk of a fatal heart attack and an increased risk of stroke .
Pregnant women with periodontal disease have an increased risk of low birth weight babies and are seven times more likely to deliver prematurely. Treating gum disease may reduce these risks. The average first year cost of a premature newborn is $44,000 more than a newborn born without prematurity.
Pancreatic cancer is the most fatal form of cancer with a 5% survival rate. There are 45,000 new cases annually and 35,000 deaths. There are genetic markers in saliva for pancreatic cancer. Men with periodontal disease are 63% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
The dental team are the primary detectors of oral cancer. There are 37,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Oral cancer has a 55% 5 year survival rate but those odds increase significantly with early detection. There is an 80%-90% cure rate with early detection. We utilize the very best technology for early detection.
We're Here to Help
Our registered dental hygienist will help you see if you are at risk for having or developing periodontal (gum) disease. Millions of people don't know they have this serious infection that can lead to tooth loss and many other serious conditions if not treated. Regular cleanings can prevent but do not treat active periodontal disease.
If you have not had your gums properly assessed and treated, please call for an appointment today at 618.281.9729.