This includes heart disease, diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, cognitive decline, and even some cancers. Pregnant women with gum disease have a greater risk of having low birth-weight babies and other complications.
Periodontal therapy encompasses the care and treatment of your teeth’s supporting structures, particularly the gums, connective tissue, and jawbone – the periodontal tissues.
While gum disease is diagnosed largely through a visual exam, there are tests we can run to give us a deeper, fuller understanding of the particular challenges you’re facing. This, in turn, can help us customize your treatment plan.
The BANA test is a 5-minute chairside screening for periodontal infection. It tests for the three of the most common pathogens involved in gum disease: P. gingivalis, B. forsythus, and T. denticola.
For this simple, yet highly sensitive and specific test, we remove a bit of biofilm from one or more periodontal sites, smear it on a test strip, and insert it into a processor. If any of those three bacteria are present, the strip comes out blue. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of harmful bacteria.
10The OralDNA test is one where we send in a saliva sample for lab analysis, and it offers a much broader view of microbial activity in the mouth. Within two weeks of submitting the sample, we’ll get a report on the presence and concentration of the 11 species of bacteria most commonly associated with gum disease.
The test can be redone after periodontal therapy to determine how effective it has been and to guide decisions about the type and frequency of follow-up care.
OralDNA also tests your genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease, which allows Dr. Bloss to assess your risk for more severe periodontal infections due to an exaggerated immune response.
“The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”
Ideally, treating gum disease begins with changes you make at home – improvements in diet/nutrition, hygiene, and lifestyle. The goal is to change those behaviors that raise your risk of periodontal problems (tobacco use is number one, followed by diet, sleep debt, lack of exercise, and chronic stress) into healthier behaviors that can improve the condition of your gums.
We offer individualized instruction on using periodontal aids to improve hygiene, as well as guidance in nutrition, including the use of supplements to support good oral health.
Between this and the other services we offer, you can go a long way toward reversing gum disease and improving your overall health, to boot!
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the most common non-surgical treatment for gum disease, and is highly effective for most people.
Scaling removes plaque, stain, and tartar from tooth surfaces above the gumline – just as in a regular dental cleaning. Root planing removes deposits and toxins from the root surfaces of your teeth, both above and below the gum.
Periodontal Laser Therapy
Lasers are one of the best and newest tools when it comes to combating gum disease and supporting your periodontal health.
Minimally invasive, lasers let our hygienists target specific problem areas with precision. They can remove diseased tissue with little pain or bleeding while disinfecting nearby tissues. It also stimulates the regeneration of new, healthy tissue to support your teeth.
No anesthetic is needed, and there is little to no pain or swelling afterwards, and healing time is much quicker – much to our patients’ delight!