Periodontal Disease (gum disease) is like having an open wound in your mouth, 24/7. Compare this to having an open wound on your arm, 24/7, that never heals. Would that concern you? If you answered "yes," then you should also be concerned about your gum disease status. Bacteria in your mouth travels through your blood stream, from bleeding gums, and can wreak havoc. At Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus, we can easily test for these high risk bacteria in the mouth that severely increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, kidney disease, and autoimmune diseases, with an easy 30 second saliva test. Periodontal bacteria invades the walls of your arteries, eventually resulting in a thickening of the artery wall, and if left untreated leads to a 3x greater risk of dying from a stroke and a 2x greater risk of dying of a heart attack. 50% of unexpected heart attacks and strokes are triggered by oral bacteria that live in your mouth. Periodontal Disease can even increase your risk of complications from COVID-19.
With the most severe form of periodontal disease affecting 50% of Americans over the age of 30 and even more prevalent at 70-80% in those over the age of 50, this disease is driven by bacteria living in your mouth that lives in the pockets surrounding your teeth and invades the gum tissue and bone. Dr. Barbara McClatchie is here to diagnose and help you on your journey to optimal oral and whole body health.
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Home Care for Periodontal Disease
The in-office treatment is just the first step towards optimal oral health. We will create a personalized treatment plan for you that is critical for treatment of your infection, of which may include targeted home care products.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Sometimes high-risk bacteria may be present asymptomatically; however, once bacteria reach high enough levels, symptoms may start to appear. The most common symptoms of gum disease include:
Bad taste in your mouth
Gums that bleed easily (brushing, flossing, chewing, etc.)
Gums that are swollen or hurt
Red, puffy, and/or shiny gums
Are you at risk? Stop guessing and start testing!
With any diagnosis of periodontal disease, it is important to find the root cause and the strains of bacteria that are in your mouth. As we know, there are many high-risk bacteria that can increase your risk and even cause cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, cancer, and more. And did you know? 50% of unexpected heart attacks and strokes are triggered by oral bacteria that live in your mouth. Through this objective testing, we can evaluate and develop a personalized treatment plan.
Is there a difference between a traditional dental cleaning and periodontal therapy?
Yes! A traditional dental cleaning is designed to remove unsightly stains and low levels of bacteria from the tooth’s surface, above the gum line (on the crown of your teeth). However, a periodontal therapy appointment goes much further; cleaning out the plaque and bacteria from above and below the gum line. This is the bacteria that constantly proliferates and causes tooth decay, gum disease, and bone loss.
During active periodontal disease, it is important to have regular periodontal maintenance appointments, approximately every 3 months. This pathogenic bacteria proliferates rapidly in your mouth and in your gum tissue unless it is properly and consistently taken care of at regular appointments and during your daily home care. Because bacteria and debris constantly breed under the gum line at this rapid rate, these pockets in your gum line are usually repopulated after six to eight weeks. Therefore, for treatment to be successful it is important to have regular 3 month maintenance appointments until your disease stabilizes and your mouth can heal.
Periodontal Assessment and Treatment
Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus
What is Periodontal Disease?
To assess your gum and bone health, the dental hygiene team at Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus completes a full periodontal assessment on all of our patients. One of the main assessments is called "Periodontal Probing" which is when your hygienist measures the pockets in your gums around each tooth with a probe (like a tiny ruler). In healthy gums, pockets measure less than 3mm with no bleeding. Pockets that measure 3-5mm indicate signs of gum disease, while anything greater than 5mm indicates a serious condition that usually includes receding gums and a greater degree of bone loss.
"50% of unexpected heart attacks and strokes are triggered by oral bacteria that live in your mouth."
Periodontal disease is usually silent. Bleeding gums are insanely common, but never normal!
Periodontal disease is preventable and treatable! At Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus, we have advanced technology and objective testing to discover and treat your risk factors for these systemic inflammatory diseases and work towards a path of lifetime preventative health care. We are your partners in health.
Research and technology are continuously evolving, and with this progress comes the ability to better identify and treat disease. Unlike many traditional dental offices, Dr. McClatchie’s Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus utilizes objective saliva testing and periodontal therapy to treat you individually. This is especially important for patients who are at a high risk for medical diseases. With just traditional Scaling and Root Planing, it is possible for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel through the body, potentially having detrimental effects. With the assistance of these saliva tests, Dr. Barbara McClatchie and your dental team can treat your infection, specifically, to prevent such episodes.
Ultrasonic Scaler - What is it and why do we use it?
At Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus we utilize the technology of ultrasonic scalers, over the traditional method of hand scaling. An ultrasonic scaler is a hand-held "wand" with a rapidly vibrating tip that is used to effectively and gently blast away plaque, calculus, and stains from the surface fo your tooth. A small stream of water that emerges from the tip, is called "lavage" and is used to cool the ultrasonic scaler's tip and flush away debris from the areas being treated. This vibration causes the water to bubble, an effect called "cavitation" which help to disrupt the disease causing bacteria and creates an oxygenated environment that is more hostile to these harmful anaerobic bacteria.
Because of the uniquely small tip size on the ultrasonic scaler, it is easier to remove plaque deposits and tartar that are found below the gum line, resulting in a deeper cleaning, compared to traditional hand-scaling. Studies also show that a thorough ultrasonic cleaning takes about one-third of the time as traditional hand scaling, which means a more efficient and effective periodontal therapy session.