Our Periodontal Wellness Program
Periodontal Wellness is all about creating and maintaining healthy gums and bone that supports the teeth. When these two tissues are in an optimal state of health, the teeth can last for a lifetime. Patients can also be assured of eating their foods of choice and having a healthy inviting smile.
Your mouth is an important part of your body just like any other part or organ. The health of periodontal tissues contributes to having a healthy body. Emerging evidence suggests that infection and inflammation of the gums and bone around teeth may also be linked to other more serious health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease (especially the heart valves), and pulmonary infections with some association with rheumatoid arthritis, strokes and low term baby weight. It is also a contributor to increased blood inflammatory “C” reactive protein. Therefore, gum disease involves more than just your “gums”, it is a serious risk to both your oral and general body health.
Our Periodontal Wellness Program specializes in the diagnosis, non-surgical treatment, the prevention of oral disease and maintenance of periodontal health to ensure your oral health is a contributor to your systemic health. This is known as Periodontal Medicine which is the future of oral health.
Refers to those aspects of systemic disease that interact with periodontal diseases. The management of periodontal diseases to modify the links between systemic and periodontal diseases.
Periodontal Disease ←→ Systemic Disease
Systemic conditions may increase susceptibility to periodontal disease
Periodontal infections as risk factors for systemic conditions
To assess your risk for periodontal disease or to learn more visit the American Academy of Periodontology website. Click Here
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal diseases are commonly referred to as “gum disease,” and are the result of a chronic bacterial infection that destroys the attachment fibers and bone that support your teeth. It causes the gums to separate away from the teeth forming pockets (spaces) of infection below the gumline. It is often painless and can go undetected. If left untreated, in time it will destroy all the bone that holds the teeth in the jaw.
The loss of teeth during adult life is not a result of aging but a result of periodontal disease which can be treated.
An estimated 75 percent of Americans have some form of gum disease It is the greatest cause of tooth loss after the age of 35. Here is a closer look at the three main stages of gum disease:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
The first stage of periodontal diesase is caused by bacterial plaque buildup around the gum line. This causes inflammation of the gums, and you might experience bleeding gums or find your gums are very red and swollen.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
If left untreated gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. At this stage, there is bone loss and the gum fibers that hold your teeth in place will have become irreversibly damaged. Your gums will form pockets (4mm-6mm) around the teeth and they will start to recede and you might see exposed tooth roots with gaps between the teeth.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
At this stage there is significant loss of bone, the tooth starts to loosen and may shift in position. The gum pockets will measure 6mm-10mm. If left untreated this process will continue until there is no bone left and the tooth is lost. The gums will always bleed when brushing and a constant flow of pus will come out of the pocket producing a bad taste and foul breath.
Why is Periodontal Disease a Concern?
As long as there is an active gum infection in your mouth, there is always a risk that the infection will release bacteria and toxins directly into the bloodstream through the open wounds in the gum pockets to affect other parts of your body. Periodontal disease then becomes a health issue and not just an oral disease. Also, healthy, strong teeth and gums are needed for you to chew and digest your food properly to provide good nutrition. As you get older you need better nutrition and not less. Therefore, your ability to chew the correct types of foods becomes an important part of your health.
Your smile is one of your greatest personal assets for a lot of reasons. When your gums are healthy, they are nice and pink, accentuating and highlighting the color of your teeth which makes them stand out. This makes you feel good about yourself and you have the confidence in knowing this will not change with age.
Therefore, at the Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona, we feel that the health of your mouth is a key component to the over-all health and well-being of your body.
Healthy Gums = Healthy Bodies!
An understanding of periodontal disease is an important aspect for its successful treatment and long-term maintenance. It is a complex disease caused by many types of specific oral pathogenic bacteria working together with a possible viral component. These bacteria may differ from one person to another in specific types and numbers. There is a genetic predisposition in some patients that increase their susceptibility. Also, a number of local and systemic “Risk Factors” influence the intensity, progression and treatment. All of these need to be identified and managed in order to have a successful outcome.
Each patient will therefore have their own “Brand” of periodontal disease that will differ from one patient to another and must be treated as such. An individual treatment plan will be developed for your specific disease diagnosis.
Most periodontal disease treatment is directed at the gum pockets, while at Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona our treatment is to eliminate the cause. We also offer crown lengthening as preventive treatment for gum disease.
YOUR INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENT PROGRAM
Your Periodontal Medicine and Wellness Program will consist of the following:
|A comprehensive periodontal examination with necessary radiographs and a possible CT Scan of the jaws. This will determine the stage(s) of periodontal disease and the amount of bone destruction as well as the long-term prognosis of individual teeth.
|DNA Testing: One of the main risk factors for periodontal disease can be a GENETIC PREDISPOSITION. While we cannot change your DNA, we can change our approach to treatment if we know genetics is a factor. Through a salivary DNA test, we can identify your genetic susceptibility to having an exaggerated inflammatory response to periodontal infections.
|Microbial Testing: In the oral cavity there are an estimated 600 different strains of bacteria of which only 15-20 strains are capable of causing disease. Microbial testing then becomes important to determine the specific types of disease-causing bacteria which are infecting your gums. We can further test to determine which antibiotics will eradicate them.
|Risk Factors: We determine the local and systemic risk factors that contribute to your disease so they can be eliminated. When you have bacteria plus one or more risk factors the destruction can be greater. The more contributing risk factors you have the greater the potential destruction.
|Determination of Oral Hygiene Effectiveness: Patients ability to remove the bacteria that collect at and below the gum line with proper brushing and flossing techniques on a daily basis. Our goal is to make you an expert at this. Effective oral hygiene is the most important part of our therapy. Know this that your treatment outcome will not be optimal or sustained (your goal) unless you are committed to daily brushing and flossing the teeth with techniques that are proven to be effective for germ removal.
|Occlusal Analysis: Teeth that are being over stressed from the forces of occlusion, the “bite”, have increased bone loss with a diminished capacity for bone repair.
Key appointment components for our non-surgical wellness program
|Detailed oral hygiene instructions: Daily hygiene habits performed with the correct techniques for effectiveness are essential to achieving and maintaining our results.
|Occlusal “Bite” adjustment to remove excessive forces being placed on certain teeth.
|Eliminating Rick Factors.
|Endoscopic Periodontal Therapy (Perioscopy): It is the only effective non-surgical treatment that allows direct visualization of the root surface underneath the gums for removal of embedded bacterial calculus. Therefore, we do not recommend or perform scaling and root planning which is ineffective. Perioscopy is unique to our wellness program. We are one of the few offices in the country that specializes in this minimal invasive non-surgical care. Our perfected protocols of this treatment have made it extremely effective in eliminating disease pockets and bone regrowth. Learn more about Perioscopy
|Antibiotic therapy will be prescribed based on the microbial analysis to further eliminate residual bacteria residing in the gums or the porous areas in the roots.
|Reevaluation: A determination of the results of treatment and current state of periodontal health along with further recommendations.
|Periodontal Maintenance: Usually recommended every 90 days (three months) as the periodontal pathogenic bacteria build up under the gums at 60-90 days intervals. This is not a dental cleaning; it is pocket maintenance procedures. The time interval may be modified due to the specific types of bacteria and genetic susceptibility.
|Host modulation medication if needed.
|Monitoring outcome: The bone is continually monitored by comparative radiographic analysis on a regular basis.
Our goal is to eliminate the periodontal disease you may have, and to save all your teeth, even the ones that have a poor or hopeless prognosis. Too many teeth are being removed and replaced with implants that we can save. If you have been told that your teeth (some or all) need to be removed, you have gum disease or that you need scaling and root planing call Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona at (480) 504-0506 for an appointment with Dr. Watkins for a comprehensive evaluation to go through our Periodontal Wellness Program to return your mouth to a long term state of health. Your body will feel better.