Did you know that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for cardiovascular disease?
You probably already know that bacteria may harm the heart. But evidence is mounting that suggests people with periodontal disease -- a bacterial infection -- may be at increased risk for heart disease and heart attacks. While more research is needed to confirm exactly how periodontal bacteria affect the heart, it is believed that periodontal bacteria enter the blood through inflamed gums and cause the small blood clots that contribute to clogged arteries.
Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease contributes to the buildup of fatty deposits inside the heart arteries. One out of every 5 Americans has one or more types of heart disease. If you are one of these Americans, or if you are at risk for periodontal disease, see us for a periodontal evaluation -- because healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.
Root planning is a treatment procedure designed to remove altered cementum or surface dentin that is rough, impregnated with calculus, or contaminated with toxins or microorganisms. After four to six weeks, periodontal pockets are eliminated due to gum shrinkage. At that point, the patient can maintain these areas with routine brushing and flossing.
Root planning treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. The first step is usually a thorough cleaning by the dentist that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gum line.
Smoothing The Tooth Root.
Cleaning The Tooth Below The Gum.
The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the occlusion (bite) may require adjustment.
The dentist may recommend antibiotics or irrigation with antimicrobials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. The dentist places antimicrobial agents such as doxycycline gels or chlorhexidine chips in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This controls infection and to encourages normal healing.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for the dentist to thoroughly remove plaque and tarter. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque.
Gum Grafting Procedures
Subepithelial connective tissue grafts and free gingival grafts.
When recession of the gingival or gums occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, the dentist can reconstruct the gums using grafting techniques.
Cosmetic Periodontal Surgery
Cosmetic periodontal surgery covers unsightly, sensitive or exposed root surfaces to prevent future gum recession. If you are unhappy with the appearance of short, unsightly teeth, the dentist may recommend a combination of gum lift surgery and cosmetic dentistry.
Vestibular Extension Procedures
The upper and lower jaws may shrink in size due to the premature loss of natural teeth (i.e. disuse atrophy). Due to the diminished jaw height, the patient may not be able to successfully wear a removable prosthesis, such as a complete denture. In such a case, the dentist would recommend vestibular extension procedures to correct the problem.
Crown Lengthening Surgery
Crown lengthening is often necessary for the following reasons:
- Deep tooth decay below the gingival (gum) tissues.
- Tooth fractures below the gingival tissue.
- Gummy smile (altered passive eruption) where the gingival tissues fail to recede normally.