You Can’t Have A Strong House Without A Solid Foundation – And You Can’t Have Strong Teeth Without Healthy Gums
Over the last 10 years there has been an increased amount of research into the link between gum disease and general health. Several serious health problems have been shown to correlate with the presence of gum disease. Here at Elite Dental of Staten Island the first goal of our program is to determine if the patient is undergoing an active cycle of periodontal disease.
The link between gum disease and general health appears to be a common pathway involving the inflammatory response that is involved in gum disease and in the systemic conditions including:
- Coronary artery disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Pre-term birth and low birth weight babies
Periodontal treatment plan
Our patients with active periodontal disease are placed into our program of non-surgical periodontal therapies. Pocket measurements are done at each visit, and the condition of the gum tissue itself is assessed. Ultrasonic instrumentation, hand instrumentation and use of antibacterial medications are used at each visit.
Six weeks after completion of therapy, each pocket is re-measured. If all pockets are four millimeters or less, the patient will return to maintenance at intervals that are appropriate. If only a few areas are still showing signs of active disease, the use of chemotherapeutics such as atridox or arestin may be prescribed. We will also determine if medium to high risk patients should be considered for the use of Periostat, the state of the art enzyme suppression therapy that stops periodontal bone loss in many cases. In the small percentage of patients that do not respond to the many therapies available in our program, a referral to our periodontist is then indicated. This closely monitored program has been a key to success in the periodontal care of many of our patients.
Keep your teeth for life…care for your gums
In addition to following a constant oral care regime such as brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, part of your treatment plan may involve you giving up various vices such as smoking. We all know that smoking is dangerous, and it is even more so due to the fact that it increases the risk of periodontitis. You will also need to:
- Monitor your mouth situation if you suffer from diabetes or other illnesses such as immune disorders which will put you at higher risk of infection
- Stop your mouth-breathing as saliva protects the teeth from harmful infections
- Be wary of medications that cause abnormal growths or reduce saliva production
These are the factors which you are in control of, although there are a few others which are pre-determined such as genetic susceptibility and hormonal changes which is most common in women and young girls.