Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Mainly caused by plaque, it is usually painless. Regular dental visits are essential to timely diagnosis and treatment. Early and moderate periodontal disease may exhibit few, if any, symptoms. Warning signs of advanced periodontal disease may include red, swollen or bleeding gums; persistent bad breath; permanent teeth that are loose or separating; changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
There are many forms and stages of periodontal disease. The most common are:
Gingivitis is mild inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up. Gums may bleed upon probing. An anti-microbial mouth rinse may be prescribed.
If left untreated, the gum infection damages the bone and supporting tissues. Your gum separates from the tooth and the bone level deteriorates.
Your gums recede farther and separate. Pus may develop; bone loss continues, and your teeth may loosen or fall out.
Biological Periodontal Therapy
IAOMT Committee on Periodontal Therapy
Periodontal disease is an infection — “an invasion by pathogenic microorganisms of a bodily part in which the conditions are favorable for growth, production of toxins, and resulting injury to tissue.” Pathogens of bacterial, protozoan, viral or fungal origin have been implicated as causal factors in periodontal disease.
Its clinical symptoms and progression indicate the body’s defenses are being challenged, and that the immune system is unable to adequately defend against the invaders. It is also important to note that recent research has demonstrated serious cardiovascular and other health risks associated with high levels of proteolytic enzymes and endotoxins produced by the pathogens most commonly associated with active periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is a long-term chronic degenerative disease. It is often refractory, in that it may be periodically active or dormant depending on the effect that environmental or acquired risk factors (e.g., smoking) have on host immuno-inflammatory response to the microbial challenge.
Because the understanding of periodontal disease has improved dramatically, treatment methods have been changing. Today the treatment of choice takes into account both local factors and systemic risk factors, and treats causes, not just effects. The goal is to help patients achieve optimal long-term periodontal health and maximize their resistance to periodontal infection. The treatment of choice is no longer removal of healthy or potentially healthy body parts.
As a biological dental office, it is my responsibility not only to diagnose and treat this localized, infectious disease in the oral cavity, but also to understand the systemic effects that the mouth has with the rest of the body. This relationship between systemic and oral health is bi-directional.
if we are to treat periodontal infection, we absolutely must treat the whole body.” People with “gum disease” are not healthy people…. with sick gums.
Opportunistic conditions will flourish as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, parasites and even molds will attack the body until balance is restored.
there is a solution to treating periodontal disease that will improve short term as well as long term success. I think the answer is to treat both local and systemic conditions leading to Gum Disease. Nutritional support for the body along with an effective non-surgical approach to biological periodontal therapy will heal this disease.
Our Office Biological Periodontal Therapy Protocol
Remove the pathogens –
This is considered the acute phase of therapy. We begin by irrigating the entire mouth with an antimicrobial rinse in our office we use the Tooth & Gum Tonic by Dental Herb Company
that contains essential oils and herbs which will help to reduce the initial exposure of microforms into the blood stream before periodontal therapy begins. We treat the effective periodontal pockets as needed with gross debridement, root plane and scaling and subgingival irrigation in order to eliminate the offending microforms and calculus that are present.
- Using the phase contrast microscope
- we use this microscopy technique as a way of determining the extend of bacterial presence and the host response and also see the type of pathogens involved. This is also a good patient motivator as treatment therapy continues to improve. We end each appointment by full mouth irrigation with Tooth & Gum Tonic antimicrobial rinse and polish.
Nutrition and supplements.
Balancing body chemistry through proper nutrition and supplementation to improve periodontal conditions is an important and hardest to achieve because you have to take a serious look at your own lifestyle and determine areas that need improvement. Following this protocol will certainly enhance your bodies” ability to heal and repair damaged tissue.
- Nutritional Protocol
- Fruits and vegetables with low glycemic index.
- Animal products such as white meats and fish.
- Monounsaturated fats – olive oil, olives, nuts, natural peanut butter, almonds and avocados.
- Lots of WATER!
- Nutritional Supplements for biological periodontal therapy:
- Coenzyme Q-10
- Vitamin C
- Oil of Oregano
Reduce Susceptibility – maintenance care.
Once your biological periodontal therapy is completed, it is essential that you continue with a maintenance program that is personally designed for you to ensure a successful outcome for years to come. This will include:
- Regular hygiene check-ups, every 3 – 4 months at first, then increase to 6 months as appropriate for each case.
- Following proper home care instructions.
- Healthy diet.
As a biological dentist, I believe this therapy provides an excellent opportunity to create a healthy gums for our patients.
Let us not forget the systemic problems associated with periodontal infections. These include heart disease, stroke, pre-term, low birth weight babies, pregnancy gingivitis, stomach ulcers, diabetes, brain abscesses, prosthetic joint failure and subacute bacterial endocarditis.
Did you know that the risk of having a stroke is 2 ½ times as high in people with periodontitis? Therefore, it seems to make sense that the treatment of periodontal disease along with good nutritional support and quality supplements may offer a new way to prevent strokes and heart disease in our patients.