October 11, 2018 Can my gum disease lead to heart disease and Alzheimer’s? If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. currently suffer from some form of this condition and may not be aware they are headed into trouble. It can range from simple gum inflammation to more serious issues resulting in major damage to your mouth’s soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost. Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day. Additionally, you often need the treatment of an experienced dentist who can offer the solutions that work and fit your lifestyle. Research demonstrates a potential link between gum disease and many serious conditions such as: Type 2 diabetes Cardiovascular diseases Chronic inflammation Low birth weight babies Respiratory diseases Alzheimer’s disease How can oral bacteria end up in my heart and lungs? Since oral bacteria have been shown to be living in the heart, lungs and brain, its logical we would want to do everything possible to thwart the spread to these areas. The path is thought to originate in the mouth with bacteria of diseased gum tissue. Once the bacteria grow beneath the gums, they tend to multiply into a colony known as biofilm. These areas tend to bleed and become infected which is one potential way the bacteria travel to other areas of the body such as the heart, lungs and brain. How do I know if I may be prone to gum disease? Knowing the risk factors for the condition as well as how it begins can be important for your health. If you have a family member with gum disease this could indicate you may be predisposed to develop it and need to seek the advice, care and early treatment options from a dentist. Most patients don’t start to develop the symptoms until they are in their 30’s or 40’s however it could be earlier if their oral hygiene has been poor. For many years, Caffaratti Dental Group has been helping patients diagnose and treat their periodontal disease and recently added a breakthrough treatment option called PerioProtect. It is an easy and effective alternative to combat gum disease symptoms that can be applied and used in the comfort of your own home. What are treatment options for gum disease? Treatment often consists of multiple techniques. Now with PerioProtect, it’s a 2-prong approach. In phase one, you will meet with Dr. Caffaratti or Dr. Doucette to understand the state of your gums and determine the level of disease. Typically the treatment begins with professional cleanings called debridement coupled with scaling. The goal of this process is to remove the biofilms or as much biofilm as possible that exist below the gum line. Following this debridement and scaling, you are given the PerioProtect at-home medication treatment system. Instructions on the use of your customized tray called the Perio Tray® are demonstrated by your provider. It is designed to continually fight gum disease over a longer time and attack the quickly growing bacteria as it begins under the gums. Since this is where the bacteria and biofilm colonies grow, being able to combat the disease where brushing and flossing cannot reach is critical to long-term success. Keeping gums healthy will go a long way in maintaining your oral health and limiting tooth and bone loss. What can I expect from the treatment initially and long-term? Within days of beginning this treatment, patients report noticeable differences in the health of their gums. Bleeding is lessened, swollen and red gums noticeably diminish and teeth are less sensitive. Research has shown the combination of Perio Tray® therapy with regular cleanings deliver better results than cleanings alone. Added benefits of PerioProtect Additional benefits of this treatment are potentially whiter teeth as well as fresher breath. Both of these have been reported by our patients and only make sense due to the nature of the specialized sealed medication treatment. Call us today at 775-358-1555 to schedule your consultation for PerioProtect and be well on your way to a healthier smile!