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.

Periodontal disease is an infectious disease in the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth in the mouth.  The infection is created by an overload of disease-causing bacteria.  Bacteria are always present in the mouth.  However, the key to having a healthy mouth is keeping that bacteria in balance.  This means having enough of the good bacteria present to keep the bad bacteria at minimal levels or not present at all.  In order to achieve this balance, active participation of the patient in-home care as well as a healthy diet is required.  This includes a good home care regimen, for example, brushing the teeth twice a day with an electric toothbrush, preferably ultrasonic, and cleaning at least once a day in between the teeth with dental floss or a water pic.  It also includes having a diet low in sugar and acid, both of which create an environment for bacteria to thrive.  In addition, periodontal disease does have a genetic component.  So it’s important to know if the periodontal disease runs in your family in order to be even more diligent with preventive care.

The connection between periodontal disease and overall health has been known for years.  However, the degree of connection is becoming more and more prominent as the research continues to support it.  The link between periodontal disease and heart disease and stroke risk is so prominent that cardiologists have been instructed in the American Journal of Cardiology to refer patients to their dentists for care, especially in the presence of inflamed or bleeding gums.  The leading researchers of preventive heart attack and stroke health, Dr. Bradley Bale and Dr. Amy Doneen, state that, “People with infected gums are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as those with healthy gums.” Where is the connection between the gums and the heart?  Through the bloodstream.

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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.