The number one cause of tooth loss for adults over 35 is gum disease.If kept in check, gum disease may never threaten your smile or your health.
“What are the signs of gum disease?”
Bleeding gums: Healthy gums don’t bleed. Bleeding from gums (no matter how little or mild) is a sign of infection… even from shallow gum pockets!
Red, swollen or tender gums
Gums that have “pulled away” from the teeth
Pus: Press your finger against your gums and squeeze them up toward the teeth. Do you see any substance oozing out…that’s pus (gum infection).
Persistent bad breath or bad taste
Loose or separating teeth
Bite disease: Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you chew.
It is possible to have several of these signs and not be aware of them, because gum disease is a “silent”, progressive condition.
“Beside bacteria, are there any other conditions that make gum disease worse?”
Smokers have higher incidence of moderate to advanced gum disease and bone loss. They have more deep gum pockets than non smokers and increased calculus (tartar) formation. Tobacco causes fibrotic changes in gums, which means blood flow to the gums is decreased. As a result, healing and regenerative capabilities of the gums are deficient. Early warning signs of gum disease (bleeding to gentle stimuli) are masked. Underlying disease can progress without signs, symptoms or other warnings. Laser gum care and gum surgery are less effective in smokers. Conventional gum care and higher frequency of professional, preventive care is recommended for smokers. Tissue effects of tobacco are cumulative, building up and increasing gradually. This is affected by quantity and duration of use. Smoking cessation may slow or halt the progression of gum disease.
Broken teeth or restorations
Broken teeth, defective or ill fitting restorations, crooked or crowded teeth, tilted or rotated teeth, and missing teeth all contribute to plaque retention and the advancement of gum disease.
Clenching or grinding teeth
These habits can accelerate the rate and degree of bone loss around teeth with gum disease. Forces of compression and tension mashing into infected tissues dramatically increase bone loss, soft tissue degeneration, and reduces the healing response. Splint therapy with recommended gum care is essential for optimal control of gum disease in this environment. .
Inadequate nourishment decreases the body’s ability to fight infection. With efficient oral hygiene and appropriate professional dental care, a well nourished-healthy body should heal itself.
Pregnant women having gum disease are 7 times more likely to have premature, low birth-weight babies. Hormonal changes, associated with pregnancy trigger an exaggerated inflammatory response in gums. Gums can become unusually red, tender, swollen and bleed easily. Dental examination and routine preventive care (including a cleaning) may be performed in the first trimester. During the first 3 months, one in five pregnancies will end in spontaneous abortion. Ideally, elective dental procedures should be postponed until after delivery. During the second trimester it is advisable to seek preventive, oral hygiene care. A cleaning can be performed. Any necessary dental treatment may also be undertaken. At this stage the fetus is further developed and there is relative safety for minor care at this time. Always consult with your physician prior to scheduling any dental care. During the first half of the third trimester, minor preventive oral care may be scheduled.
Regular prescription medications
Many medications adversely affect the health of your mouth. Diuretics (water pills) may decrease flow of saliva. Dry mouth increases plaque build up which increases risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dilantin (for seizures) and calcium channel – blocking agents (commonly prescribed for high blood pressure) may cause gums to grow over teeth. This contributes to gum disease. Steroids, cancer chemotherapy drugs and immunosuppressant drugs lower resistance to infections making gum disease more severe. These are a few examples of medications which increase your risk of gum disease. Monitoring your medications with physicians and dentists and updating changes in medications as they occur is important. Maintaining vigilant oral hygiene at home and following recommended professional dental care is vital. Remember: Tooth decay and gum disease are bacteria driven… which means: no bacteria – no problem. Recommended professional care combined with efficient plaque removal once every 24 hours will control tooth decay and gum disease.
Oral contraceptives and other hormone supplements can increase gum sensitivity to the toxins of plaque and accelerate growth of some bacteria. Pregnancy, puberty and menstrual cycles also increase plaque – induced gum inflammation. Gums can become red, tender, swollen and bleed easily.
Family history of gum disease or loss of teeth
A genetic predisposition toward early onset forms of gum disease has been proven. However, tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented even if you are genetically “programmed” to develop gum disease. Both tooth decay and gum disease is bacteria driven. Which means that disease is not possible when bacteria are absent. Efficient plaque removal once every 24 hours stops both gum disease and tooth decay… (even if mom and dad had dentures at 25!)
Systemic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis) Gum disease is known to release high levels of bacterial toxins into the bloodstream. These are the same toxins associated with cardiovascular disease. Toxins from gum disease enter the bloodstream and travel to the other organs (like the liver and heart) and may cause harm. Researchers have proven that gum disease releases these toxins directly into the bloodstream even during gentle chewing! After gentle chewing only 50 times, blood levels of toxins (from infected gum pockets) increased from 6% to 24%. Conclusion: Patients with moderate to advanced gum disease had 4 times more toxin in their blood after brief, gentle chewing.
Don’t ignore your oral health
- Because there is no known cure for gum disease early detection, treatment and ongoing care is of vital importance. It is easy to be unconcerned and unmotivated about a “silent” condition that you can not see or feel. A threat unperceived may seem like “a lot” about “nothing”… but a little bit of gum disease, unchecked, always leads to more.
- Early, mild signs of gum disease are “silent”, being difficult to feel or see in your own mouth. Sometimes the only way to detect this stage of disease is through a gum evaluation by your dentist.
- If you already have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis or if you are pregnant, ask your dentist if you have gum disease. Moderate to advanced gum disease with these conditions is a serious, proven threat to your health.
“Is Gum Disease contageous?”
First of all, how’s your own gum health? How efficient is your oral hygiene technique? What is your genetic immune response and resistance to the bacteria that cause oral diseases? Every person has their own unique point where bacteria, inflammation and resistance to disease comes into balance.
People with strong resistance fight off gum disease more efficiently and with less effort. People with weak resistance show signs of oral diseases even at low bacterial levels. Balance for them requires more attention to diet, home care, professional treatment and overall health.
One speck of plaque stuck to your teeth contains between 200 million to 500 million bacteria which secrete damaging acids and other toxic waste products.
Your mouth harbors over 1 Billion microbes in whole saliva. Your gum pockets contain something called gingival crevicular fluid. Healthy gum pockets contain over 1 Trillion microbes and they live in a ratio of 1,000 : 1 , disease causing pathogens to non pathogens.
Gingival crevicular fluid is only 2.4 % of all the saliva in your mouth. Any imbalance in a steady state of oral health can offset this balance, causing infections.
Unless removed efficiently every 24 hours, plaque grows astronomically and triggers the development of gum disease, tooth decay, infections, white tongue and halitosis (chronic bad breath).
Early stage gum disease, begins with a mild, localized inflammation which is virtually “un-noticeable”. It can progress by destroying attachment fibers which secure the gums to the teeth.
At more advanced stages, thin pockets open up between the gums and teeth and begin to fill up with pus. Progressing further, gum pockets enlarge by pulling away from the teeth as bone recedes and giant reservoirs of dead cells, toxins and pus open up.
At just about anytime (whether gum disease is mild or advanced) tooth decay and infections can occur. The same bacteria infecting teeth are spilling out of thin pockets or giant pus reservoirs, coating the tongue with layers of plaque (white tongue). Volitile sulphur compounds (fetid smelling gases) are emitted as dead cells break down and halitosis (chronic bad breath) arrives.
A notable study done in 1998 demonstrated the actual transmission of periodontal pathogens (disease causing bacteria) through direct person-to-person contact.
Genco R.J., Zambou J.J., Christersson L.A. : “The Origin of Periodontal Infections” Adv Dent Res 1988; 2:245-259.
Transmission of disease causing bacteria from person-to-person occurred using shared toothbrushes and droplets of saliva.
“Can I get gum disease by kissing someone?”
Your mouth is a warm, moist hiding place for pathogens and other bacteria. Its lined by mucous membranes that collect trillions of microbes. Its a resevoir of dead cells, toxins and infection just waiting for an opportunity…..
Transmission of pathogens occurs from person-to-person and
“Does that mean I’m gonna get gum disease?”
That depends upon the level of your own periodontal health, efficiency of your own oral hygiene, your own genetic immunity and resistance to oral diseases and the frequency of ongoing professional care. Odds are (80%) that you already have gum disease.
Tooth decay, dental infections, gum disease and “white tongue” (bad breath) are all bacterial driven conditions. What this means is…efficient, daily home care performed once every 24 hours eliminates disease causing bacteria and prevents complications in a systemically healthy person whose taking care of themselves daily!
Ask your dental health care professionals about a personalized, comprehensive plan of
“What’s the difference between Convential Gum Therapy and Laser Assisted Gum Therapy?”
Conventional Gum Therapy (deep gum cleaning)
Conventional gum therapy is a viable and successful method of controlling gum disease. It is effective at any stage of gum disease, like any other medical or dental procedure, there are some drawbacks.
Conventional gum therapy has some drawbacks which include:
- Deep cleanings with conventional root planing (scraping) removes healthy gum tissues and gum attachment fibers along with infection.
- It can alter and remove healthy root surfaces.
- In addition to infected cementum, it removes healthy cementum (as much as 109 microns, nearly ten times the amount required for detoxification of roots and cementum). *Cementum is a natural “glue” secreted by roots which attaches gums to roots.
- Conventional techniques of scaling and root planing tear healthy attachment fibers within gum pockets.
- These tears release bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream. In medically compromised patients this could stress systemic health. Healing is slower than laser gum therapy.
Laser Assisted Gum Therapy
- Laser gum therapy destroys more pathogens (disease causing bacteria) than conventional root planing (scraping).
- Inhibits bacterial repopulation significantly longer than conventional root planing.
- Detoxifies root surfaces, cementum and the inner lining of gum pockets. Conventional root planing does not detoxify the deeper fibers and soft tissues of gum pockets.
- Performs these functions with no damage to underlying attachment fibers or any other tissues.
- Virtually no release of toxins into the bloodstream.
- Makes removal or root calculus easier and more efficient than conventional root planing.
Our Regimen of Laser Assisted Gum Therapy also utalizes Micro Ultrasonics. Micro Ultrasonic Technology replaces conventional root planing (scraping)
With Micro Ultrasonics
- Virtually no root structure is removed.
- Infected cementum is removed (approximately 12 microns, efficient and appropriate for detoxification of both roots and cementum). Healthy root structure and cementum is preserved.
- Does not cut or tear underlying attachment fibers within the gum pockets, which means improved healing and virtually no release of toxins into bloodstream.
- Non-invasive and appropriate therapy by current standards. When used with laser, it detoxifies roots and cementum as well as the entire gum pocket (including the deeper fibers and soft tissues of gum pockets).
The Micro Ultrasonics Advantage: How it works
- Uses ultra-thin instrument tips with low power and less water spray.
- High-frequency, low powered, manual tuning creates a soft, smooth vibration… efficient and non-invasive with greater comfort!
- Requires a “feather” light sketching motion with no force or pressure.
*Some minor hand instrumentation is used primarily above the gum line and to limited areas subgingiually.
Laser and micro ultrasonics combine to offer the best alternative in the treatment of gum disease.
|Conventional Root Planing||Laser Assisted Gum Therapy and Micro Ultrasonics|
|Acceptable comfort. Preferred by 7% of patients who have tried bothFewer appointments required (1-2)
Lower cost with partial to full
Equal to laser therapy in reduction of pocket depths, reattachment levels, reduced inflammation and bleeding (during months 1-3 following treatment)
Bacterial repopulation returns to pre-treatment levels at month 3
Tears and removes underlying attachment fibers and healthy tissues
Releases toxins into the bloodstream (bacteremia)
Traumatic and forceful removal of calculus
|tried both More comfortable for 93% of patients who haveMore appointments required (3-6)
Higher cost with partial insurance
Equal reduction of pocket depth’s increase in reattachment levels, equal in reducing inflammation and bleeding (during months 1-3)
Bacterial repopulation remains lower or 3-6 months following treatment
Detoxifies roots, cementum and gum
No damage to underlying attachment fibers and healthy tissues
Virtually no release of toxins into bloodstream (lower, reduced bacteremia)
Removal of calculus easier, more efficient and less traumatic
More About Laser Assisted Gum Therapy
- Infected tissues and pathogens (disease causing bacteria) are dark pigmented entities compared to normal healthy cells.
- Laser energy (highly focused light) is selectively absorbed by these darker pigmented entities and vaporizes them instantly. Healthy cells and tissues are unharmed.
- Laser energy removes the outer layer of plaque which covers root calculus and increases the ease of calculus removal.
- Laser energy detoxifies root surfaces and the soft tissue lining of gum pockets preparing them for better healing.
- Laser energy performs these tasks without damage to underlying tissues which decreases bacterial release into the bloodstream.
- Laser therapy replaces traditional soft tissue curettage (mechanically cutting and peeling out the infected gum pocket lining).
- Laser “curettage” detoxifies the gum pocket comfortably and without trauma for improved healing.
- Laser gum therapy is always done with micro ultrasonics and minor hand scaling.
- Laser gum therapy demonstrates dramatic tissue response in advanced stage gum disease (pockets 6mm and greater). Exceeds results achieved by conventional treatment at this stage of intervention.
- Laser gum therapy is effective at all stages of gum disease.
- Laser gum therapy (with micro ultrasonics) reduces gum inflammation; reduces bleeding of gums; kills more bacteria and inhibits return of bacteria, achieves and maintains gum fiber re-attachment better than conventional gum therapy for up to three months longer.
- Conventional gum treatments (without laser) are therapeutic only within the first three months.
- Laser gum therapy requires more appointments which must be kept (strictly) as scheduled. Effectiveness of laser therapy is compromised when guidelines are not followed.
Dr Thomas Tinney 916-683-7222 7915 Laguna Blvd. Suite 105 Elk Grove, CA 05758