• Adults with some form of gum disease

    90%
  • Adults with dental bone loss

    75%

Oral wellness is all about healthy gums

The most common cause of tooth loss among adults is not decay, but gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease.

Not only is this bad news for our mouths, but studies show association with periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes, and low birth weight in infants. This is believed to be due to the chronic inflammation that comes with untreated periodontal infections. One of the markers for this is elevated levels of “C-Reactive Protein,” which can be determined by a blood test from a physician or dentist.

Surprise: It’s Better than a Cholesterol Test

An elevated C-Reactive Protein is a much better indicator of the possibility of a cardiovascular accident than even an elevated cholesterol measurement.

Does this mean people are doomed to lose their teeth with age?

No, not at all. We can very predictably diagnose the progression of periodontal disease and offer treatment recommendations that will minimize bone loss and preserve your smile for a lifetime, even if you live well into your 80s or 90s! In all cases, your personal daily home care is the basis for prevention.

How do we diagnose periodontal disease?

  • Examination
  • Digital radiographs (X-rays)
  • Pocket depth measurements (periodontal probing)
  • Oral DNA test – Tests for DNA of bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease. Shows not only which bacteria are present, but the “load” of bacteria. If above a certain threshold, then a specific antibiotic can be prescribed to help eliminate infection. This test is quick and painless. Small pieces of paper are placed into the infected gum area, then sent to the lab for results.

What are the signs?

  • Visual appearance (redness or swelling)
  • Pocket depth measurements (1 to 3mm = normal range; > 4mm = disease)
  • Bleeding upon gentle probing; lining of gum tissue is inflamed or ulcerated
  • Mobility (tightness or looseness) of teeth; this relates to bone loss or traumatic bite forces which complicate periodontal therapy
  • Furcation involvement (bone loss between roots of molar teeth)
  • Recession (exposed root surfaces); this relates to bone loss and/or improper aggressive tooth brushing and/or traumatic bite forces and/or tooth position exposing roots surfaces.

Treatments customized just for you

Depending on the diagnosis of periodontal disease, different treatments are recommended for your oral wellness. We will explain all the treatment options and tailor the treatment to each patient’s situation.

When treatment is complete, we re-evaluate the patient’s periodontal health by checking the tissues after five to six weeks of healing and proper home care. After optimal health is attained, it must be maintained with daily home care and professional maintenance at an interval that works for the patient’s body, usually a three to four month interval for most periodontal patients.

Oral_ID-3Oral cancer testing with Oral ID

Oral cancer is not a disease that is commonly talked about, but this is the fifth year in a row in which there has been an increase in the rate of occurrence of oral cancers. In our office we are using a new instrument to screen for oral cancer called the Oral ID. Oral ID uses a proven, optically based technology called “fluorescence technology.” Oral ID’s fluorescence technology uses a blue light that allows Dr. Bell to identify oral cancer, pre-cancer and other abnormal lesions at an earlier stage, thus saving lives. This test is very simple and painless and is done at your first initial exam, then yearly with Dr. Bell at no extra cost to you! For more information or questions please contact us!

 

New Patients Get a Complete Screening

New to our practice? You’ll love how our initial patient exam thoroughly explores your medical and dental history. Contact us to schedule an appointment for your oral wellness.

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