Our Scottsdale Periodontist and Gum Disease
Gum Disease and Your Body
Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, influencing its overall health and function. As a result, when the health of the smile is compromised, the health of the body as a whole is also at risk of deterioration. While there are a number of examples demonstrating this oral-systemic connection, none demonstrate this relationship as clearly as the impact of gum disease on a patient’s overall health.
In Scottsdale, Dr. Michael Kelly and his team at Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale are committed to providing patients with comprehensive treatment options for restoring their oral health following a diagnosis of periodontal disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Caused by the accumulation of tartar, periodontal disease is the bacterial infection of the gums and is defined by its three unique stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. During the initial phase, the buildup of tartar spurs on gum irritation, causing the tissue to become red, swollen, and tender.
As the condition progresses into periodontitis, irritation leads to the development of periodontal pockets as the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. These pockets trap debris and tartar as well as provide bacteria with the opportunity to spread below the gum line. During this final stage, the bacteria begins to erode the connective tissue and jaw bone holding the teeth in place. As a result, patients suffering from advanced periodontitis may experience gum recession, loose teeth, and jaw bone deterioration.
Gum Disease beyond the Dentition
In addition to significantly damaging the smile, periodontal disease can leave a lasting negative impact on other parts of the body. Once the bacteria travel below the gum line, they are able to spread to the blood system and travel to other parts of the body, thus increasing the likelihood of patients developing serious health consequences.
Recent studies have indicated that gum disease can increase the likelihood of patients developing heart disease but may also lead to a higher risk of stroke for both men and women. For pregnant women, untreated gum disease can increase the chances of premature birth or other forms of high risk pregnancy conditions.
Periodontal disease can not only increase the likelihood of certain health consequences; it can also exacerbate existing conditions. For example, patients with diabetes who develop gum disease may have a more difficult time controlling blood sugar. Similarly, individuals with weakened bones as a result of osteoporosis may find themselves at a higher risk of tooth loss caused by gum disease.
Treating Gum Disease
In the past, traditional therapies for gum disease have included aggressive deep cleanings, root planing and scalings, and gum grafting. While effective, these treatments are often uncomfortable and invasive and fail to comprehensively restore a patient’s smile to its optimal health and function. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale, our team relies on advanced dental technology to effectively remove bacteria and infected tissue.
With the Solea dental laser, our Scottsdale dentist is able to precisely destroy bacteria within the periodontal pockets and below the gum line, effectively sterilizing the entire infected area. As this innovative technology also cauterizes the treatment area during use, it helps to stimulate healing as well as gum reattachment, preventing bacteria from reinfecting the area. This dental laser can also be used to restore the aesthetic appeal of the smile following gum disease therapy through gum re-contouring.
Schedule Your Visit Today
Proactive care is an important step in protecting your smile and overall health from gum disease. If you are exhibiting symptoms of this condition, contact Dr. Kelly and his team today to schedule your periodontal consultation. Through early diagnosis and comprehensive care, our Scottsdale dentist can help you regain optimal oral health and function.