Nearly everyone knows the obvious consequences of gum and bone disease – bad breath, swollen and/or inflamed gums that bleed when brushing and flossing, loose teeth and/or bone loss that ultimately causes you to lose your teeth.
There is also evidence of links between gum and bone disease with more serious health conditions such as:
Heart disease: Some studies have found that people with periodontal disease have 1.5 – 4 times greater risk of suffering from heart disease.Read More
Stroke: Periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for strokes and coronary artery disease.
When bacteria resulting from periodontal disease is released into the bloodstream, it causes the liver to produce C-reactive proteins (CRP). Elevated CRP levels are a strong predictor of heart disease and stroke by promoting inflammation of the arteries and the formation of blood clots.
Diabetes: Diabetes and periodontal disease create a vicious cycle of complications. Poorly controlled diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels can make plaque and gum disease more difficult to control. In turn periodontal disease can make controlling blood sugar levels more challenging. It is essential for diabetic patients to maintain their oral health with careful at-home as well as professional dental care.
Preterm and low birth weight babies: Studies have indicated that the bacteria that are present in periodontal disease can cause preterm or low birth weight babies. The reason for this appears to be that the bacteria in gum disease may cause an inflammation of the cervix and uterus that causes premature dilation and contractions. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to schedule a periodontal checkup. Many periodontal therapies are safe if you’re pregnant.
Alzheimer’s Disease: The chronic inflammation of gum disease may be a factor for increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. While Alzheimer’s disease has a strong genetic component, studies of twins where one twin had the disease and the other did not pointed to periodontal disease in the affected twin as one possible triggering factor.
Pancreatic cancer: A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that periodontal disease can increase your risk of this deadly form of cancer. As with heart disease and stroke, the risk comes from C-reactive proteins in the bloodstream. These cause an inflammatory response that may contribute to the production of cancer cells.
Lasers: Lasers are being used to treat gum disease. The laser kills many of the offending bacteria, removes diseased tissue, and encourages gum reattachment to the teeth. Laser treatment is usually done without local anesthesia and often reduces the need for more extensive periodontal surgery.
Root planing: We use ultra-thin tools to smooth the surface of your teeth from debris. In areas where the tooth has separated from the gums, the aim is for the gum to reattach to a cleaned, smooth root surface. When the tooth has a smoother surface, it is more difficult for bacteria and plaque to reattach to the tooth.
Gingival grafts: When the gums have receded or appear to be fragile, it may be necessary to graft a small amount of tissue from the roof of the mouth to the receded gum line. This is a 40-60 minute procedure performed under local anesthesia. Other forms of grafts that do not use the roof of the mouth as a donor site are available as well.
Gingivectomy: In severe cases of gum disease where the gums have pulled away from the teeth and there are deep pockets of bacteria, it may be necessary to remove portions of the diseased gum tissue completely. This is performed under local anesthesia and may be done with a laser to reduce recovery time.
Crown lengthening: This procedure is performed when there is not enough natural tooth surface available to support a filling or a crown. This can occur if a tooth is broken or if a filling falls out of a tooth that is extensively decayed. We use a soft-tissue laser to remove excess gum tissue and reveal more of the natural tooth so that the restoration can be supported. An added benefit is that in some cases, a “gummy” smile is now more in proportion!
Trillium Dental makes your oral health, now and in the future, a top priority. If you have questions about Periodontics or periodontic care, book an appointment with one of our Ottawa dentists today. We welcome new patients, patients seeking second opinions, or a new general dentist or cosmetic dentist. We have dental offices in Downtown Ottawa, Nepean, Kanata, Orleans, Stittsville and Carp. Please call one of our locations or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a dental appointment.
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