Periodontal disease can occur in stages. Over time a person’s condition can go from Health to Gingivitis and then into early, moderate, and advanced stages of Periodontitis.
Health – Firm and resilient tissue characterized by minimal sulcus depth and coral pink color. Variations in gingiva color may occur depending on patient’s complexion and race. Evidence of previous disease may be present.
Gingivitis – Inflammation of the gingival characterized clinically by changes in color, gingival form, position, surface appearance, and presence of bleeding and/or exudates.
Early – Progression of the gingival inflammation into the deeper periodontal structures and alveolar bone crest, with slight bone loss. There is usually a slight loss of connective tissue attachment and alveolar bone.
Moderate – A more advanced stage of the previous condition, with increased destruction of the periodontal structures and noticeable loss of bone support, possibly accompanied by an increase in tooth mobility. There may be furcation involvement in multi-rooted teeth.
Advanced – Further progression of periodontitis with major loss of alveolar bone support, usually accompanied by increased tooth mobility. Furcation involvement in multi-rooted teeth is likely.
Traditional treatment involves surgical removal of the infected tissue and antibiotics. Surgery is a very painful and expensive procedure that many people will need to have redone within five years because it removes the symptom rather than the cause. The problem with antibiotics is that a person can become sensitized to the antibiotic; the weaker bacteria are killed off while the stronger bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic.
There are other methods to control periodontal disease that are safer, less expensive and more natural. While periodontal disease has generally been considered a local problem, holistic methods of treatment, with the help of modern medical research, are showing that this is not the case.
Research is showing infection and inflammation caused by periodontal disease as significantly increasing the risk for coronary heart disease. In the Sept 1997 Journal fo British Medicine, research showed that there can be a causal relationship between periodontal disease and an increase in heart problems. In some of the populations studied the likelihood of getting heart disease doubled when periodontal problems are present.
Most dental problems are the result of nutritional deficiencies.
Scaling and root planing are necessary to break up the mats of bacteria, remove most of the tarter and calculus adhering to the teeth. No matter what procedures are used all the calculus is never removed. When debris and bacteria are taken away, the area can be kept clean and healthy by repeating irrigations. The best way is to change the chemistry of the body (and the mouth) so that the bacterial populations are changed back to normal healthy populations.
Home care is the most important part of the entire process. Repeated treatments are successful only if you do what is required on a daily basis to facilitate the removal of the diseased state.
Using natural healing ways to change the body’s basic chemistry to a more healthy state is a much better method of therapy than either drug induced changes or surgical procedures. By helping patients to have better nutritional habits, and realizing that periodontal disease is a warning symptom, Holistic Dentistry can make inroads into reducing major problems before they occur.