Periodontal Disease, which is also known as gum disease, is inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. Gum disease is caused by microorganisms that grow on teeth as well as in the gums that trigger an aggressive immune response against the bacteria. Swollen and bleeding gums are symptoms of this infection in the mouth. If left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to other areas of the mouth and body.
After a period of time, the presence of aggressive bacteria will destroy the bone that supports your teeth. This can lead to loose teeth that may need to be extracted. Gum disease is usually painless, which is why many Americans have either Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease and are not aware they have the condition.
What is the difference between Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease?
Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease are different stages of the same bacterial infection in the mouth. If you have Gingivitis, this is the stage where the disease is still reversible. The symptoms of Gingivitis are red, swollen gums that bleed. Our dentists and hygienists at Academy Dental Care can help you reverse Gingivitis before it progresses to Periodontal Disease.
Periodontal Disease is the advanced condition where gums have pulled away from the teeth and the bone is destroyed below the gumline. Bad Breath is a common sign of someone having an aggressive bacterial infection in the mouth. Loose teeth are warning signs that periodontal disease is at an advanced stage in the mouth. If you suspect you may have this condition, we can schedule you for a consultation to evaluate your gums and create a plan to stop the progression of the disease.
How many people are affected by gum disease?
A 1999 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that 50% of Americans over the age of 30 had some form of gum disease. 70% of Americans over age 65 have Periodontal Disease.
Ask yourself this question:
If you washed your hands and they started to bleed, would you be concerned? The skin on your hand is similar to the gum tissue in your mouth. Yet, many people don’t think that bleeding gums are a serious problem when they brush or floss. Gingival inflammation and bone loss is often painless until severe damage has occurred. Patients often prioritize treating their gum disease after the damage has been done rather than seeking out treatment when it is still in a reversible stage. Don’t wait till you experience symptoms of advanced Periodontal Disease.
Why do I have gum disease?
Everyone’s genetics and immune system is different. Our dentists see patients that have different conditions:
Healthy patients with good home dental care and no bleeding
Unhealthy patients with lacking home dental care and bleeding
Healthy patients with good home dental care and bleeding
Unhealthy patients with lacking home dental care and no bleeding
The point is that everybody has bacteria in their mouth, some good, some bad. What is really important is having a dental team that can identify the bad from the good bacteria, assess your body’s reaction to the bacteria, and help you know whether you are healthy, have gingivitis, and or have periodontal disease. The dentists and hygienists at Academy Dental Care are healthcare experts in determining these conditions.
Do you have cardiac health conditions, diabetes, or other inflammatory diseases?
In recent years, gum disease has been linked to other inflammatory conditions. In 2011, Gum disease was directly linked to atherosclerotic inflammation which increases the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease compared to those who don’t have Periodontal Disease.
Research has found that bacteria from people’s mouths like Streptococcus Sanguinis enters the blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels. This leads to inflammation and clots that can later trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Another effect of gum disease or inflammation is that it worsens your body’s control of blood sugar. People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than those without diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to infections to begin with. Additionally, the presence of inflammation makes it harder to control one’s blood sugar. Therefore, reducing inflammation in the body can help improve diabetes symptoms.
Why trust the dentists and hygienists at Academy Dental Care with your gum condition?
The team of dentists and hygienists at Academy Dental Care offer conservative Periodontal Therapy which emphasizes early intervention and preventative measures to improve oral and general health. Patients like our non-surgical approach because it achieves results without the pain and discomfort of traditional surgical treatments.
Bleeding gums are not normal. In the past, dental offices would focus on reducing plaque to treat bleeding gums and periodontal disease. The traditional Cleaning and Scaling and Root Planing treatments alone do not solve the root cause of gum disease. What we now know is that you can actually have plaque present and still be healthy. The health of your gums is determined by the type of bacteria present. It is the presence of aggressive tissue-invasive bacteria that causes Periodontal Disease. Just removing the plaque doesn’t solve the biological problem in your mouth. This means that brushing, flossing, and even traditional Scaling and Root Planing will not eliminate the bacteria. To treat Periodontal Disease, we first use a bacterial screening process to identify the pathogens that are causing the gum infection, and then we focus on medicating the areas of tissue that are infected.
Academy Dental Care invests in the latest technology for gum disease diagnosis and treatment. The dentists and hygienists at Academy Dental Care use a scientifically validated system that utilizes testing, medications, and home care to help patients treat Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease. We can diagnose gum disease more accurately with state of the art techniques, and can address the root cause of the bacterial infections with our treatment.
We also educate our patients on the association between oral and systemic health, and our patients appreciate the time they get with our dentists that is usually not available in the health care industry. Research has shown that periodontal disease can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and birth complications. The implications of incorporating medical screening methods into dentistry has increased the dentist’s role in early identification and referral of patients with chronic medical conditions. Our dentists and hygienists can help you by determining the pathogens causing your gum disease and the pathogens that could be contributing to your other health conditions.
Our goal at Academy Dental Care is to improve and maintain your oral health. Having a chronic infection is a serious problem you should not ignore. If you have red, swollen, or bleeding gums, please contact our team to help you get healthy again. Call us at 505-828-2020 for a consultation today.