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What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal Disease, or Gum disease, is an infection of the gums caused by several kinds of bacteria, including Streptococcus Mutans. It is one of the most widespread diseases in the world. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has estimated that more than 80% of the American population has some form of periodontal disease.

Is it dangerous?
Yes, it can be. If left untreated, pockets of infection form between the gums and the roots of the teeth. Eventually, the tissue connecting the teeth and the gums begins to break down, causing the teeth to loosen. The underlying bone structure also may actually begin to deteriorate and diminish. Periodontal disease, not tooth decay, is the most common cause of adult tooth loss in most industrialized countries. During the past decade, growing scientific evidence suggests that patients with periodontal disease are at greater risk for heart disease, lung disease and other systemic disorders. 

Studies have also linked periodontal disease to low birth weight and stroke. So in a real way, periodontal disease maybe life threatening. Excellent info on the relationship between periodontal disease and other conditions can be found at the AAP site,

How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?
Unfortunately, periodontal disease offers very few warning signs. In fact, the symptoms are seldom apparent to the patient at all, or at least not before the disease has already caused a great deal of destruction. One sign is gums that are painful and puffy and bleed easily. Another is bad breath. But these symptoms can sometimes be very subtle.The primary way that periodontal disease is diagnosed is by probing. 

This is done by a dental professional such as a periodontist (gum specialist),general dentist or, in most cases, by a hygienist. Some modern probing systems detect periodontal disease by measuring temperature or sulfide levels. However, most probing systems, even high-tech computerized probes, gauge periodontal disease by measuring the depth of the "periodontal pocket,” that space between the teeth and the gums that has been opened up by periodontal infection. In a general sense, the deeper the pocket, the more serious the level of disease. More and more, dentists also take samples from the pocket and examine them under a microscope or perform a special test to check bacteria types and levels.

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?
Going to a dentist or periodontist who will probe your gums on a regular basis is essential. If you have never been probed, chances are your dentist has no idea whether you have periodontal disease or not. One of the simplest ways to prevent periodontal disease (and tooth decay as well) is to practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing and flossing faithfully and thoroughly. 

New ultra gentle oral care systems such as the DHI Sensitive Care System have been developed specifically for diabetics and other medically compromised individuals who have sensitive gums. They are extremely comfortable and virtually eliminate bleeding while brushing. They even include an advanced flossing device for gently cleaning between the teeth.

If I have periodontal disease, how will it be treated?
That usually depends on your dentist and the level of disease. One of the primary treatments is a series of additional, deeper cleanings known as scaling and root planing. Some general dentists and periodontists complement this treatment using antibacterial solutions. Still others use low-powered lasers to kill the bacteria inside the pocket. In fact, your treatment may include all of the above.If your disease has been allowed to become more advanced, flap surgery may be necessary. In flap surgery, a scalpel is used to make an incision so that a portion of the gum (a "flap") can be peeled away from the root surface, exposing the inside of the periodontal pocket.. 

Once the flap has been opened up, a metal instrument is used to scrape away the deposits of plaque and bacteria covering the root surface. After applying a local antibiotic, the flap is then closed up using stitches. The postoperative period can be extremely uncomfortable or painful, and it can sometimes take up to a week before you can eat solid food normally.Obviously, the least painful and least costly alternative to these treatments is prevention. 

And thanks to breakthroughs such as the DHI Sensitive Care System, prevention has never been easier and more comfortable. Remember, good oral hygiene may not only spare you from periodontal treatment, it may even spare you from heart disease, lung disease and other dangers related to gum disease.

How can I get more information?
The American Dental Association ( and the American Academy of Periodontology ( both offer excellent information for patients. The links below will take you to a number of good pages on the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease. You can also feel free to contact the Dental Health Institute, for more information on periodontal disease and preventative technologies.

Periodontal Gum Disease

Ortho Sonic Brush System
Brushing teeth with braces has never been so easy! The sonic electric toothbrush with retractable bristles protects sensitive gums while brushes all the nooks and crannies of braces on teeth with ease.

Gum Disease Gingivitis
Periodontal Gum Disease

PerioEXCEL basiq CoQ10 Monthly Maintenance Kit
30 day supply of our proven PerioEXCEL gel with applicators. This kit helps to maintain adequate levels of CoQ10 as a followup to our PerioEXCEL IQ Intensive Care program.

Gum Disease Gingivitis
Periodontal Gum Disease

PerioEXCEL IQ6 DuoPack
The PerioEXCEL IQ6 DuoPack special includes 2 complete PerioEXCEL IQ6 kits with 6 bottles ea., i.e. 12 bottles total. It is intended for use in gum conditions that require a more intensive usage of CoEnzymeQ10, such as gum recession or more severe gum damage.

Gum Disease Gingivitis
Periodontal Gum Disease

SDC Replacement Brush Heads (Set of 2)
Replacement kit with 2 special brush heads with self-retracting bristles.Fits SDC Sonic Brush & Floss System, Virane Sensitive Brush.

Gum Disease Gingivitis
Periodontal Gum Disease

SDC Replacement Floss clips (Set of 10)
Replacement pack of 10 Floss Clips.Fits SDC Sonic Brush and Floss kit, Virane Sensitive.

Gum Disease Gingivitis
Periodontal Gum Disease

Sensitive Dental Care System I
The first artificially intelligent tooth cleaning system in the world adapts itself automatically.

Gum Disease Gingivitis
Treatment Of Periodontal Disease
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