The least important thing we did today was clean your teeth.
Your visits to the dentist should be about more than just cleaning…they should be about inflammation. The most important service we can provide to you is to continually monitor for the presence of any gum inflammation. Here’s why…
Dentistry has known for some time that if you have gum inflammation (also called periodontal disease, or the old term, pyorrhea), cleaning the teeth will make them feel good for a day or two but will have no effect on eliminating the underlying inflammation. Care beyond the typical “cleaning” is often necessary if you have any below-the-gumline inflammation.
We also now know that eliminating any inflammation in your mouth is about much more than just helping you keep your teeth. It is really a vital component of overall wellness.
Medical research is confirming that inflammation anywhere in the body is a significant factor behind many of the chronic diseases of aging (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease). It turns out that the mouth is a significant source of inflammation when gum disease is present. If you have gum disease, bacteria from the mouth can get into your bloodstream daily. These bacteria has been linked with other serious health problems.
Medical research is filled with reports linking gum disease with heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease. If you already have risk factors for any of these diseases that are affected by gum disease it is even more important for you to partner with us so that we can help you do whatever is necessary to keep gum inflammation at bay.
Gum inflammation rarely causes any symptoms – most people who have gum inflammation do not even know it. Often only a dental professional can tell if gum inflammation is present. That is why regular visits to our office are important in your case. Gum inflammation occurs when microscopic bacteria, in the form of a biofilm, collect below the gumline beyond where your toothbrush can reach. Left unchecked, this biofilm causes the silent inflammation in your mouth that can lead to other serious health problems.
While everyone has bacteria in their mouth not everyone develops gum inflammation. There are identifiable risk factors that make some people more susceptible to gum inflammation. If you have any of the known risk factors for gum disease it is even more important for you to partner with us on a regular basis to determine if any gum inflammation has developed and then to do what is necessary to eliminate it.
Your regular visits to the dentist should be about more than just cleaning. These visits should be about inflammation.
Our Checklist for every regular visit to our office::
x Determine if you have any of the known risk factors for gum disease
x Check for the presence of any gum inflammation
x Screen for any of the serious diseases that can be made worse by gum disease
x Make recommendations to lower the overall level of inflammation in your body to promote wellness.
x Recommend treatment that will maximize the chance for the most rapid resolution of the gum inflammation in your mouth.
x Customize a plan for you that will make it less likely for the gum inflammation to return.
Oh yea, once we are done helping you achieve a better level of wellness…we’ll still clean your teeth. We just want you know that we are doing a lot more!
Dr. Sarah Poteet
Dallas Functional Dentistry