Periodontal Health and Gum Disease

December 22, 2015

Hygiene BlogWhat is periodontal disease? It is a disease that affects the structures around the teeth. You may have heard of it being referred to as gum disease. That’s correct but it affects more than just the gums. In its early stages, it shows up as inflammation of the gums. When left untreated, it progresses to involve the bone and ligaments around the teeth.

The early stage is known as Gingivitis. This is a common and milder form of the disease. It is largely preventable. Brushing twice a day, flossing and going for regular professional scaling (cleaning) can reduce or completely eliminate the condition and prevent its progression to Periodontitis.

Periodontitis is the more serious form of this disease. It a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone around the teeth. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss or worse – an increased risk of stroke or heart attack and other serious health problems.

So how do you recognize it? And what can you do about it?

First, it’s important to know what leads to periodontal disease. What is the main culprit?

The primary cause is a dental biofilm commonly known as plaque. It usually consists of disease-causing bacteria and a matrix that helps these bacteria stick to dental surfaces. Food particles and bacterial endotoxins are commonly present in the mouth.

There are other risk factors that can increase one’s chances of developing periodontal disease. These can be local or systemic. Local causes include poor oral health habits, mouth breathing, crowding, poor restorations, dry mouth (due to medication), and tobacco use. Systemic causes include diabetes, poor nutrition, hormonal changes, and decreased immunity.

As to its symptoms, gum disease exhibits signs such as red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums especially when brushing, receding gums, loose teeth, persistent bad breath, unpleasant taste, painful chewing, and sensitive teeth.

Gum disease is diagnosed by the dentist or hygienist as they will review your medical and dental history, examine your gums for signs of inflammation, measure the depth of the pockets between gums and teeth to assess for attachment loss, note bleeding and recession, and check for bone loss radiographically.

The treatment of gum disease takes the following forms: First, an initial ultrasonic and manual scaling to remove the biofilm and encourage healing, followed by regular interval maintenance and good homecare practices to maintain the health of the gums. Second, advanced stages may require antibiotic therapy as well. And third, if the disease is too advanced or does not respond to nonsurgical therapy, a referral to a periodontist is needed for possible surgical treatment.

Here is a video on periodontal disease:

Remember, it is never too late to start a healthy oral hygiene routine. Call Strathcona today if you sense you might have any of the symptoms discussed above. Treatment is much more successful in early stages.

Platelet Rich Fibrin Accelerated Healing

December 4, 2015

prf-treatment Platelet rich fibrin (PRF) treatment, a therapy created from your own blood, has been widely used in hospitals to help speed healing. Fairly recently, technology has made it possible for PRF to be used in dental clinics as well. Your Edmonton oral specialists at Strathcona Dental Clinic have adopted this procedure and made it available to help you heal faster and with less pain when you have extractions or oral surgery performed.

Platelet Rich Fibrin Explained

After an assessment, if it is determined you are a good candidate for PRF treatment, a small amount of your blood is taken and placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood and separates the plasma, white blood cells and fibrin from the red cells, concentrating them. These elements of your blood are responsible for accelerated healing and tissue regeneration and growth. When the mixture is applied to an open wound, such as the socket when a tooth is removed, the PRF stimulates stem cells to grow new tissue very quickly, thereby speeding your healing. Since the treatment is made up of your own blood, there is no risk of blood-borne disease.

Some of the added benefits to PRF include:

Lower risk of infection since your dentist will secure the PRF to the wound left by your procedure. This seals the wound and helps prevent contaminants from causing infection.

Faster healing due to the growth factors in the platelet rich fibrin. Faster healing helps prevent infection and increases your comfort level.

Convenient and safe since your own blood is used to create your treatment.

How PRF is Used

Once your blood is removed from the centrifuge, your dentist will apply a high concentration of the PRF to the area affected by your procedure. The treatment effectively creates a seal over the wound and absorption begins immediately.

Many patients are able to report a much higher level of comfort right after their procedures than patients who forgo PRF.

If you have an oral procedure coming up and want to see if you are a candidate for platelet rich fibrin treatment, your Strathcona Dental Clinic team in Edmonton encourages you to contact us for a consultation. We would like to offer you the best in faster healing and higher comfort.