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PERIODONTITIS IS BACTERIAL INFECTION
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, caused by food accumulation and dental calculus in-between the teeth. These elements contribute to bacterial growth and cause a bodily response: inflammation. Inflammation destroys bacterias but also the surrounding tissues, leaving a void between the gum and the teeth called ”periodontal pocket”.
In theory, the body recovers after an inflammation episode. However, since hygiene habits remain unchanged, the bacterias multiply, inflammation progresses, and a vicious cycle ensues.
In two words, gum disease is the degradation of the bone and of the gum surrounding the teeth. This infection is silent and often painless, but eats the supporting tissues, ultimately causing the loss of the teeth. Moreover, this treatment is rarely limited to one single tooth, but rather to multiple teeth and in some case, to all of them as they all received the same attention (or lack thereof).
This condition must be screened as soon as possible for two reasons: gum disease is painless and therefore gives the impression that all is well, maximizing the damage. Damages to the bone are often irreversible.
Gum disease is an infection that begins in the mouth. However, if the infection progresses, there are repercussions to the rest of the body. Indeed, research increasingly demonstrates the correlation between gum disease and: cardio-respiratory disease, premature birth, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis and complications in the case of diabetes.
Usual symptoms of gum disease include gum bleeding, persistent bad breath, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids, red and swollen gums. In more advanced phases, we may notice teeth mobility.
Losing a tooth without decay is possible!
BAD BREATH IS A SIGN OF GUM INFECTION
Persistent bad breath is a sign of an untreated gum infection called periodontitis. Bad breath is often accompanied by bleeding from the gums, sensitivity to hot and cold foods or liquids, with a loss of the gum line and, in advanced cases, a mobility on the teeth. Bad breath is the result of a bacterial infection caused by the accumulation of food between the teeth and the gum. These foods contributes to bacterial growth in the region, resulting in a defense reaction of the body: the inflammation. The inflammation kills the bacteria, but also the surrounding tissue as collateral. The smell of dead cells, the accumulated blood and bruised tissue are responsible for this persistent bad breath
Bad breath is a marked sign of an advanced infection of the gums. The disease must be detected as early as possible because there are two dangers. The first, the disease is not painful, but can grow alarmingly and leave the impression that there is no reason to worry. The second, the supporting bone does not regenerate. Therefore, any lost is cumulative and irreversible.
- Consultation with a dentist
- Assessing the severity of wear and required treatment
- Evaluation of the loosening teeth
- Development of the treatment plan
- Establishing the exact cost of procedures
Note: This care is basic care covered by most dental insurance.
- Explanations & Questions
- Pretreatment desensitization
- Three sessions of 15-minute laser whitening
- Post processing desensitization & instructions
- Tooth preparation
- Application of artificial enamel
- Note: This care is basic care covered by most dental insurance. These costs are based on the guide of the Association dentists of Quebec.
Relatively inexpensive (compared to gum grafting and veneers)
Absence of mercury and lead
SCREENING OF THE GUMS
The gum detailed screening is conducted on the entire mouth. Carefully examining the gums by taking six measures per tooth. These measures, in millimeters, expresses the depth of the periodontal pocket. In the case of a patient with teeth 32 , 192 measurements were recorded. This step takes about thirty minutes and is crucial in determining the teeth to target during the gums treatment (SCALING).
CLEANING – SCALING – ROOT PLANING
The scaling is done with an ultrasonic device. The aim of scaling is to remove all deposits, calcified or not, and bacteria from the tooth surface. It removes the tartar above the gum and if there is access, under the gum line. This reduces the inflammation and restores a healthy balance to the the gums.
When periodontal pockets are deep and tartar accumulated in the depth of the pockets, we no longer talk of scaling, but rather root planing. It is made with an ultrasonic device and manual instruments with or without the use of local anesthesia. The goal of root planing is to remove all deposits, calcified or not, and bacteria from the surface of the root. The root planing also removes the granulation tissues (bad scars that block the way for a good cure). This act is called root planing and is predominantly made with the help of laser.
During root planing , irrigating the periodontal pockets with an antibacterial solution calls chlorhexidine is often the course of action taken by most dentists. The solution acts on the bacteria causing a loss of theirs internal components, in other words, kills the bacteria. By its antibacterial effect, the chlorhexidine reduces the inflammation, redness and bleeding gums since it drastically reduce the bacteria concentration.
Chlorhexidine can also be prescribed as a mouthwash if needed in severe cases.
For good results following the root planing, the gum must heal. It has been proven that laser therapy provides:
– faster healing
– removal of infected and scared tissues
– less discomfort following treatment
– reduction of the inflammation
– disinfection pockets
At low power, the laser has a biostimulation effect that increases the blood circulation, the formation of collagen fibers and bone cells activity. The laser stimulates the cells of the body for fast healing. This healing is ideal, because the depth of the pocket is actually reduced and not distorted by tissue contractions. Laser therapy is needed to remove the infected tissue, leaving only healthy tissue in the periodontal pocket.
A study by the Buffalo School of Dental Medicine reports: the laser reduces discomfort following the gum treatment. With the flexibility of the laser power can be adjusted to maximize its positive effects without affecting bone and dental structures. Studies show that the laser significantly decreases the amount of bacteria in the periodontal pocket and particularly invasive bacteria often associated with the progression of gum disease, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. This bacterial reduction is observed even up to 6 months after therapy.
Laser treatment is done in conjunction with the deep scaling (root planing). For best results, several laser sessions are required within a few months. This allows a quick and perfect healing from a clean and healthy environment.
Prophylaxis is another term for polishing teeth . It is done after completion of scaling and is used to remove plaque on tooth surfaces . Prophylaxis is achieved by means of a rotary rubber cup with a fluorinated paste.
ANTIBIOTHERAPY – PERIOSTAT
In severe cases of periodontitis, an antibiotic, Periostat (doxycycline hyclate), is prescribed in addition to the scaling and root planing treatments. Given low dose, 20 mg, Periostat act as a regulator of the body’s response. It prevents the production of destructive factors of the gum, collagenase, thus allowing the gum to heal. In other words, it’s reduce the inflamatory respond of the body.
You are the primary doctor in this therapy. In clinic, the therapy consists of debridement and disinfection of your gums and pockets. At home, is your responsability to keep them clean to allow your body to heal and regenerate. Your cares included:
– Teeth brushing after every meal
– Flossing at least once a day
– The use of an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day for 30 seconds
FOLLOW UP AND DENTAL CLEANING
A follow-up every 3 months is prescribed in order to control the healing process and the advance (or regression) of periodontitis. Gum screening, scaling, root planing , laser therapy and chlorhexidine irrigation are repeated again if necessary. The results of the screening are than compare with the previous records at track the revolution/regression of the disease. Once the disease under control, mandatory periodic cleaning are scheduled every 6 months.
- Detailed examination of the gums
- Taking X-rays
- Scaling – Surfacing – Curetage
- Irrigation in the chlorhexidine
- Laser treatment
- Antibiotic – Periostat
- Follow up every 3 months
- Dental scaling
- Examination gum
- Brushing after every meal
- Flossing 1 time per day
- Antibacterial mouthwash 2 times per day
Gums treatment is part of basic care, therefore covered by most insurances policy. However, insurances companies sometime limit the frequency with which you can benefit from dental scaling and root planing. Some of the procedures as the laser treatment and the follow-up are sometime not covered by your insurances. An estimate can be produced at the first appointment to submit to your insurer.
You can claim a tax credit of between 20 % and 30 % of the amount to uninsured fees. The calculation depends on the amount of fees, your salary and tax policies.
One of our consultants can provide information about the tax benefits and funding options available during your consultation .
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease called PERIODONTITIS is a bacterial infection affecting the gums and the bones surrounding the teeth. With time (years), a deterioration of the bone and the gingiva is the result. Painless and silent, untreated, gums disease can lead to bad breath and the lost of teeth.
- WHERE IS THE GUMS DISEASE COMING FROM?
It is caused by food buildup of plaque and tartar between the teeth and gum. These elements contribute to bacterial growth in the region leading to a response of the body : inflammation. The inflammation then destroys bacteria, but also the surrounding tissue, leaving a gap between the gum and tooth called “periodontal pocket “. At the periodontal pocket, the bacteria multiply, inflammation destroys … and it’s a vicious cycle of destruction.The most important factors in the progression of periodontitis are: heredity, smoking, stress, diabetes and other systemic diseases .
- WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE?
The usual symptoms are bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, irritation to hot and cold foods, red gums, swollen gums and a possibility of receding gums. In more advanced stages, you might experience tooth mobility.
- HOW DO WE TREAT GUM DISEASE?
First, a detailed screening of the gums is needed to target problem areas. Then a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) are required to remove all debris and scared tissues. This will aloow the gums to heal naturally. Manual and ultrasonic instruments, antibacterial solution and laser treatment are all part of the gum disease treatment. In more severe cases , an antibiotic may be necessary. In the battle against periodontitis , the sooner the treatments take place , the better the chances of recovery.
- WHY A LASER TREATMENT IN THE GUM DISEASE?
Laser therapy provides: biostimulation, faster healing, removal of infected and scared tissues, less discomfort following treatment, reduction of the inflammation and disinfection pockets. In short, it increase the speed and efficiency of the healing process.
- IS THE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
In most cases, patients are treated without anesthesia except for complex cases. Normally patients experience some sensitivity, but nothing unbearable. If you prefer local anesthesia, ask your attending dentist.
- DO PERIODONTITIS HEALS COMPLETELY ?
Periodontitis is a chronic infection. The aimed goal is to keep the disease under control and stable than a total cure. Therefore, the importance of regular monitoring. In simple case, if treated at the beginning, complete remission is possible. If the patient is smoking, often the gum disease could be stabilized but not cured.
- WHAT ABOUT SMOKING AND GUM DISEASE?
There is compelling evidence to the fact that smoking is the main extrinsic factor for gum disease. Not only reduces the amount of saliva stain teeth and overload language, it makes them more susceptible to periodontal disease the gums. The severity of periodontitis is directly proportional to the amount of cigarettes smoked daily.
- ARE THE GUM TREATMENTS INSURED?
Gum treatment is part of basic care, therefore your insurance plan covers normally . However , insurance companies limit the frequency with which you can benefit from scaling, it may be that you have to pay for the appointment of laser and monitoring. A due diligence on your first visit will help clarify the situation
- WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES IF I DON’T TREAT MY GUM DISEASE?
Left untreated, the infection increases and will impact on the rest of the body. More than bad breath and losing teeth, there are correlation between periodontitis and the following diseases: cardio- respiratory diseases, premature labor, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, and complications of diabetes. It’s a matter of general health!