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Dr. John Says...

Digging deeper into your gums

Why do we talk so much about gum disease?

Periodontics: Digging deeper Into your gums

Most people think about the health of their gums approximately.never. When they’re in for a cleaning, they sheepishly admit they don’t floss as often as they should, but that’s usually the end of it. I want to share some information with you that will hopefully make taking care of your periodontal health a higher priority-it could even save your life!

First things first, let’s define terms. The periodontium consists of the area surrounding your teeth, your gums, and the bone structure underneath. It acts as the foundation supporting your teeth. The most common cause of tooth loss is disease of the periodontium and one of the most common of these diseases is periodontitis—an inflammation of the gums and bone, caused by bacteria, and resulting in irreversible bone loss.

The newest theories of periodontal management indicate that small complexes of localized bacteria-laden plaque colonies organize into a slimy biofilm on your teeth and gums. This biofilm contains its own little ingestion and excretory system, and is capable of spreading throughout the periodontium. It’s not only a danger to your dental health, but to your general health, as well. Affected groups include the following:

Now that you’re panicked, and I have your full attention, I have some good news. We have a much better understanding of the mechanics of the periodontal disease process and greatly improved  methods for treating it. The improved treatment includes repeated removals of the biofilm and cleansing of the infected site, often in conjunction with targeted delivery of antibiotics.

Because it’s so critical to your dental and general wellness, our practice is focused on establishing and maintaining good periodontal health. We use the improved treatment methods, described above, but we prefer prevention over treatment. That’s where you come in. I know you’ve heard it all before, but please, please brush and floss regularly. Seriously. Also, please be sure to watch for any bleeding of the gums, and contact us right away if you think there’s a problem. As always, we’re in your corner and looking out for you. Keep on smiling.

- Dr. John