Monday, February 29, 2016

Treating Periodontal Disease

Effective oral hygiene can go a long way in protecting smiles from decay and damage. However, some patients may still find themselves facing certain dental conditions. In particular, gum disease is one of the most common oral conditions affecting countless adults across the country.

Treating gum disease is based on the progression of the condition. While easily preventable, gum disease has few noticeable symptoms, allowing it progress without interruption until significant damage has been done to the patient’s smile and overall health. As a result, while patients who are able to identify and treat their case of gum disease during the early stages are often able to prevent escalation, many often seek treatment during the late stages when more extensive treatments are the only option.

Depending on the progression of your gum disease, treatment may include:

Deep cleaning - Also known as root planing and scaling, deep cleanings are effective treatment for mild periodontitis. During the scaling procedure, tartar is scraped from above and below the gum line, preventing bacteria accumulation and plaque buildup. Root planing occurs below the gum line on the tooth root, during which special tools are used to remove rough spots on the roots that may attract bacteria build-up.

Antibiotics – Recommended in cases of mild to advanced periodontitis, antibiotics are used to kill off bacteria, preventing the progression of the condition. Antibiotics can be applied a number of different ways, as either a prescribed mouthwash or as a gel administered below the gum line. At our Puyallup dental office, we prefer antibiotic chips. These are small pieces of gelatin that contain the antibiotic medication and are placed within the periodontal pockets. Over the course of a week, medication is slowly released, killing off bacteria in the pockets and preventing recolonization.

Soft Tissue Grafting – For patients suffering from gum recession as a result of periodontal disease, gum grafting can restore aesthetics to the smile while preventing further recession. During this procedure, donor tissue is taken and placed in areas of recession.

Bone Grafting – More of a restorative treatment rather than an immediate cure, bone grafting is offered when the condition has caused bone deterioration, thereby compromising the stability of the teeth. During this treatment, donor tissue is placed in the deficient area. Over the course of recovery, the tissue is integrated into the bone, ensuring future jaw stability.

At the dental office of Mark T. Ngo, DMD, our mission is to help patients achieve lifelong oral health through improved patient education and comprehensive preventive care. By teaching patients about the symptoms of periodontal disease, our Puyallup dentist is able to help individuals protect their smiles and overall oral health. For more information about preventing and treating periodontal disease, contact Dr. Ngo today

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Secondary Consequences of Gum Disease

While easily preventable, periodontal disease affects countless adults annually, making it one of the most common oral conditions. When left untreated, this condition can begin to have domino effect-like consequences on other parts of the body, jeopardizing a person’s overall health. Some of these consequences include:

Heart Disease – As the gums are highly vascular, research suggests that bacteria can easily enter into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation of other organs, including the heart. Additionally, gum disease can also exacerbate existing cardiac issues. As a result, consulting with your physician prior to receiving gum disease care can ensure you remain healthy throughout treatment.

Stroke – Similar to heart disease, studies have indicated the existence of a link between gum disease and stroke. In regards to the stroke and gum disease relationship, bacteria may cause the carotid arteries to become thicker, preventing sufficient blood from flowing to the brain, thus increasing the likelihood of a stroke.

Diabetes – As severe periodontitis can increase blood sugar, gum disease can also make it more difficult for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar, putting them at a higher risk of diabetes related complications. Gum disease is also considered a side effect of diabetes, as these individuals are often more susceptible to other diseases.

Respiratory Illness – Recent studies have also indicated a link between upper respiratory conditions and periodontal disease, highlighting the fact that gum disease-causing bacteria are inhaled into the respiratory tract. This can lead to an increased risk of developing pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and COPD. As these conditions can be particularly devastating for immune-compromised patients, this discovery is particularly important for emphasizing the relationship between the health of the dentition and the patient’s overall health.

Osteoporosis – If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause bone deterioration in the jaw, compromising the integrity of the face and stability of the teeth in the arch. For patients with osteoporosis, periodontal disease can lead to accelerated bone and tooth loss, limiting the function of the dentition.

High-Risk Pregnancies – Hormonal change can significantly influence the development of gum disease. For expectant mothers, periodontal disease can lead to the likelihood of high-risk pregnancy, causing premature birth and low birth weight.

In Puyallup, Dr. Ngo and his team are committed to helping patients maintain healthy smiles and consistent overall health. If you are exhibiting signs or symptoms of gum disease, contact our Puyallup dentist today to schedule your next appointment.