Periodontal Procedures

Care of Tooth Support

A healthy smile comes from healthy teeth and gums. Periodontal Therapy is the branch of dentistry that encompasses the care and treatment of the supporting structures of the teeth. This includes the gingival (gum) tissues and the bone surrounding the teeth.  A collaborative approach to providing periodontal care is utilized involving the patient, the dental hygienist, the dentist and a Periodontist (gum specialist), if indicated.

Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support your teeth.  In healthy circumstances, each of your teeth are in a close relationship with the surrounding gum tissue.  With disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth.  Untreated, both supportive gum tissue and bone are destroyed.  Of course, this leads to loss of teeth and many other health concerns that affect your entire body.  Holistically, this is why early stage detection is so important.  There is a proven link between periodontal disease and heart disease and stroke.  

Types of Periodontal Disease:

  • Gingivitis: Red and swollen gum tissue. Mildest form and reversible
  • Chronic Periodontitis:  Most common form.  Loss of tissue/ bone.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis:  Highly destructive. Rapid loss of tissue/bone
  • Periodontitis as a Manifestation of Systemic Disease:  Occurs due to other disorders such as blood diseases or genetic disorder.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal Disease:  Death of tissue/bone, accompanied by pain, bleeding and foul odor.

Dr. Toler and her referred team of specialists will assist in treating any periodontal needs that arise.  At your next appointment, discuss your concerns and ask about risk factors.

47% of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. Through a simple oral saline rinse, we can find hidden pathogens that threaten your oral and systemic health.  Utilizing OralDNA Labs, we are able to identify and measure harmful bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to early detection of problems, create a personalized treatment plan and determine the appropriate follow-up.  Test results are delivered in only days.

Common pathogens directly cause gum disease.  Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that is triggered by specific bacteria and your body’s response to those bacteria.  Severe gum disease can result in tooth loss.  However, gum disease isn’t the only thing you need to be concerned about. Harmful oral bacteria can lead to heart disease, pregnancy complications, diabetes, tooth loss, bad breath, rheumatoid arthritis and stroke.

Warning signs for possible presence of these harmful bacteria include:

  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Gums that are swollen or hurt
  • Red, puffy and/or shiny gums
  • Loose teeth    

Only within the last 10 years, has insight into the Oral / Systemic Connection become more clear.

As knowledge increases concerning the severity of periodontal infections and how closely related they are to your overall health, having detailed information about your genetic susceptibility and the bacteria that are present in your mouth will be critical in determining your holistic health.

This periodontal procedure is performed by the hygienist to remove dental plaque and calculus (tartar) below the gumline.  This calculus houses bacteria that release toxins which cause inflammation in the gum tissue and surrounding bone, resulting in stages of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease starts when bacteria forms plaque along the gumline.  If not properly removed by brushing and flossing, this plaque can irritate the gum to the degree that it could eventually destroy the tissue that holds the teeth in place as well as the bone that supports the teeth.

Systemic antibiotics often help people with periodontal disease achieve better clinical outcomes, especially diabetic patients. However, an advantage of site-specific therapy is that the whole body doesn’t have to be flooded with antibiotics.  Only your infected area needs to be treated.