Periodontal Health

“Dr. Allison is very gentle. I always anticipate it will hurt from
previous experience but it never does here”
—W. Mimnall, Mount Joy PA

Waiting room at Susquehanna Dental ArtsAccording to the American Academy of Periodontology and the 2003 World Health Organization report around 80% of adults over 35 suffer from periodontal disease. This disease is a bacterial infection resulting when food, bacteria and tartar are not sufficiently cleaned from the teeth. In the beginning, the infection develops along the gumline and when left untreated, it will progress beneath the gums to damage the gums, teeth and bone. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Dr. Charles Mayo, of the Mayo Clinic said back in the 1930’s, “People who keep their teeth live an average of 10 years longer than people who lose their teeth.”

Periodontal Disease is a bacterial infection resulting when food, bacteria and tartar are not sufficiently cleaned from the teeth. Periodontitis occurs when toxins destroy the tissues that anchor teeth in the bone. As gums detach from teeth, pockets form and fill with plaque. Tooth roots are exposed and become susceptible to decay and sensitive to cold and touch. In the beginning, the infection develops along the gumline and when left untreated, it will progress beneath the gums to damage the gums, teeth and bone.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present (4-6 mm or greater), it is difficult for the dentist to thoroughly remove plaque and tarter. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health. Bone surgery may be needed to rebuild or reshape bone that has been destroyed.  A gingival graft may be used if extensive gum tissue has been lost around the tooth root.

Bacterial infections in the gum tissue may affect more than your teeth and gums. Research has established associations between oral bacteria and systemic diseases including

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Blood Clots
  • Strokes
  • Preterm and Low Birth Weight Babies
  • Chronic Inflammation

There are also numerous risk factors for periodontal disease you need to be aware of, including:

  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Age
  • Diet
  • Medical history
  • Medication

If you are at higher risk due to any of these factors be sure you are taking extra special care of your teeth and gums, and that you are making routine trips to the dentist to assist in your fight against periodontal disease. Since gum disease can start slowly and without pain it could be too late once you begin to notice something is wrong.

perio trays and gelSusquehanna Dental Arts offers the Perio Protect Method medical device as a part of our comprehensive services. This periodontics tool delivers prescribed medication directly to the source of periodontal disease: your gums. The Perio Trays are worn as a supplement to regular brushing and flossing and the treatments are modified as healing occurs. With Perio Protect, most patients are able to avoid gum surgery.

perio traysWorn for minutes each day, the trays fit right over your teeth and allow an effective concentration of medicine to be delivered to the infection. It can’t work if you don’t use it. In order for the Perio Protect Method to be effective, you need to follow your dentist’s instructions.  Scientists determined that after 17 days of this treatment 99.98% of the disease-causing bacteria were killed. Besides reduction and control of gum infections, the Perio Protect trays provide the best whitening of teeth we’ve seen.

Susquehanna Dental Arts utilizes laser gum cleaning treatment to remove plaque and tartar from affected teeth. The laser gum cleaning procedure removes infection from gum tissue and reshapes it therefore reducing pocket depths when there is pocketing. The laser also decontaminates the deep pockets that are inaccessible to routine brushing and flossing.

In the unfortunate event that you do develop periodontal disease, you’ll want to schedule a visit with us right away. At Susquehanna Dental Arts, we offer many comprehensive treatment options, including the Perio Protect Method. We’re proud that most of our patients are able to avoid surgery on the gums, through supplemented brushing and flossing and wearing the trays for just a few minutes each day.

Contact our dentist!