The effects of periodontal disease may lead to tooth loss and may have adverse impacts on overall health. At Palm Harbor Dentistry, Drs. Dan Knellinger, Stacey Verkler, and Carol Bou-Sliman have the knowledge and tools necessary, to halt and reverse the progression of periodontal disease in Palm Harbor, FL, with individualized care plans aimed at prevention and advanced laser dentistry methods of treatment.
Periodontal Disease Basics
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection between the teeth and the gums. In a healthy mouth, the gum adheres firmly to the tooth, but with the presence and progression of an infection, gums may retract from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can thrive.
Risk Factors for Developing Periodontal Disease
Oral hygiene, including routine brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings are vital to maintaining optimal oral health. However, proper oral hygiene is only one factor in regards to the prevention of periodontal disease. The following factors must also be considered:
- Family history- Approximately 30% of people have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
- Immune system health- A weakened immune system due to stress, poor nutrition, or other associated diseases, such as diabetes, hinders the ability to combat bacteria.
- Dry mouth- Saliva has protective properties for teeth and gums. Many medications may diminish saliva production.
- Tobacco use- Smoking or chewing tobacco impedes healing on the mouth.
- Hormonal changes- Fluctuations in hormone levels may occur during puberty, menopause, pregnancy, and menstruation, creating an increased risk for infection.
Risks of Untreated Periodontal Disease
Risk factors that may increase the risk of infection may be complex and are sometimes beyond control. If infection does occur, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Untreated periodontal disease may lead to inevitable tooth loss but may also cause secondary complications, including but not limited to:
- Heart disease
- Low birth weight and preterm delivery
Detrimental cases, in which teeth are missing and the presence of bone loss may be evident, may require traditional surgery. Laser dentistry techniques, specifically the LANAP® protocol, may prove to be more ideal in the earlier progressive stages of the disease. This method of treatment is minimally invasive, most often performed under local anesthetic, providing an expedited recovery following treatment.
Treating periodontal disease in its early stages of progression is the best way to prevent the occurrence of more serious conditions. Call (727) 228-8000 today to schedule an appointment for a periodontal disease screening.