Periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease or gum disease is a chronic inflammation and infection the gum tissue, jawbone, and teeth. Bacterial plaque is recognized as the primary cause of gum disease. It is usually starts out as something unnoticeable. Most of the adult population is affected by gum disease. Gum disease is not always due to a lack of homecare. Many people are predisposed genetically to this. We will be your coach, guiding you through your treatment plan to get your gums back into good health.
When plaque is not removed each day by brushing and flossing, calculus appears. Toxins produced and released by calculus irritate the gums and break down the fibers that hold the gums tightly against the teeth causing periodontal pockets, as well as contributing to heart disease, and diabetes. These pockets then fill with more toxins and bacteria. As the disease develops further, the pockets get deeper and teeth become looser - ultimately, resulting in tooth loss.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is paramount in treating the disease. As the signs develop, bleeding gums, loose teeth, you may decide then it is time to make an appointment. Unfortunately, when loose teeth occur it may be too late. In rare cases, loose teeth could be caused by a multitude of factors including your bite. It is important that a dentist diagnose your symptoms and causes to develop the correct therapy and treatment.
Dr. Koeppel, director of Koeppel Dental Group, is a leader in prevention, and maintenance of periodontal disease, always attending continuing education and getting involved with research projects pertaining to periodontitis.
Many people let the “snowball” effect occur inside their mouths. When something gets bad, they are ashamed or too frightened to act on it, so it gets worse and worse, until finally it is unbearable. Avoidance behavior pertaining to gum disease is strongly discouraged because it gets to a point where there is no return. Tooth and bone loss is inevitable.
Many patients fear going to the dentist because they are embarrassed of their mouths, or fearful cleanings will hurt. They also fear expensive and long treatments, and dental surgery. Many have been asking for years for a non-invasive periodontitis treatment, and now with Perio Protect there is one available!
The way Perio Protect works is through the use of take home trays. Dr. Koeppel, director of Koeppel Dental Group, will take impressions to make molds of your teeth. From the molds, our laboratory fabricates special trays that are thin, soft, and comfortable. You will then place gel in the trays (similar to bleaching), and wear them for a specific amount of time, depending on each case. This allows the gel to seep above and below the gum line eliminating tarter, calculus, and bacteria.
When you come in for cleanings, our hygienists will gently remove any soft deposits and evaluate the progress of the trays. Your hygiene visits will be quick, painless, and easy! Patients with more severe cases of Periodontitis need more urgent treatment. They need to start rebuilding lost tissue and saving what’s left. Sometimes soft or hard tissue and bone grafts are utilized to help save the jaw structure.
Most times non-surgical scaling and root planning can be done to remove plaque and calculus around the teeth and root surfaces. Antibiotics or antimicrobials may be used to supplement the effects of scaling and root planning. Atridox, Arestin, Periostat, Doxycyline and Periochip are all periodontal antibacterial agents our hygienists use, depending on severity of the case.
Also, home care during this time, and after, is crucial. A sonic toothbrush, hydrofloss, and special antibacterial rinse may be recommended. Patients who want lasting results of their gum therapies must stick to maintenance routines. Cleanings every 3-4 months, to prevent tarter, bacteria, and biofilm buildup, is not uncommon..