Biological Gum Treatments

Gingivitis

Gum disease affects 60 – 70% of the adult population. It is an infectious disease, initially caused by a build-up of plaque. The infective pathogens include bacteria, parasites and funguses.

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, in which there is reddening and bleeding of the gums. This can usually be reversed with daily brushing (using correct technique and product with 1% hydrogen peroxide), flossing, and a professional clean with our dentist or dental hygienist.

If Gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to a more severe form of gum disease called Periodontitis. The gum pulls away from the tooth and forms a space known as a “periodontal pocket”. In an even more advanced form, teeth can move, or you could lose a tooth.

If you are clinically diagnosed with periodontal disease, we will offer you a microbiological analysis using a phase contrast microscope. Our treatment aims to eliminate the pathogens over a 4 – 6 months period of monthly visits to the dentist. When there’s enough structural support, and if the tooth hasn’t been damaged by root planing, this method, called the Bonner Method, has a 96% success rate.

The stages of gum disease

Gingivitis: The early stage of the disease which is an inflammation of the gums. The usual symptoms include reddening and bleeding.

 

Periodontitis: Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more severe form of gum disease. The gums and fibres which hold the tooth in place are irreversibly damaged. Toxins from the infection and the body’s own immune response start to break down the tissue and bone that keeps the tooth in place. The gum pulls away from the tooth and forms a space known as a “periodontal pocket”.

 

Advanced Periodontitis: Spaces or “black holes” form between the teeth and the teeth move. Bone loss is greater, abscesses may appear and there is more bleeding. You could lose a tooth.

Risk factors for developing gum disease

Infrequent or poor brushing and flossing techniques, faulty or deep fillings, missing or malpositioned teeth.

 

Poor resistance, such as genetic susceptibility and diabetes.

 

Transmission from one person to another or from pets.

We take gum disease very seriously because it can cause loss of teeth but even more importantly, recent research indicates that periodontitis is linked to some systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

What should I do if I have symptoms of gum disease?

Early diagnosis and treatment will prevent aesthetic and functional consequences, so book an appointment as soon as possible.

If you’re diagnosed with Gingivitis

If you’re diagnosed with Gingivitis you’ll receive (at this diagnostic appointment) a gentle scale and polish, oral hygiene (proper brushing and flossing) instruction, and a treatment prescription for an antiseptic mouth rinse to give you the best possible chance of reversing the infection and preventing its return. In some cases, we recommend an antibiotic rinse.

Home care products

From the start of treatment, you’ll be treating your teeth and gums at home with products such as 1% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution to effectively remove plaque, and Torrens Powder (salt and bicarb), which is applied to the infected gums twice a day. This assists the healing process and continues to eliminate the microbes that cause reinfection of the surrounding tissue. In most cases this is continued for up to 12 months.

 

Products available at Bangalow Holistic Dentist

If you’re diagnosed with Periodontitis

Your dentist will perform a clinical periodontal analysis, take the appropriate x-rays to determine the severity of your disease, and use a phase contrast microscope to determine the specific types of organisms present in your infection. You’ll also receive a preliminary scale and polish. You’ll be thoroughly instructed in using appropriate oral hygiene techniques, including oral irrigation, flossing and brushing. You must be willing to follow a meticulous regimen of home care, including brushing with the 1% hydrogen peroxide solution followed by the application of Torrens Paste (Mixture of salt and bicarb) to the gums.

Subsequent appointments - months 1 - 4

Once a month for three or four months you will have your oral hygiene practices reviewed, re-evaluated and reinforced, have a light scale and polish with chlorhexidine impregnated pumice, and antibiotic and anti-parasitic paste will be syringed into the deepest gum pockets. You will continue to apply the paste to your gums for 3 weeks at home.

 

We will monitor your progress with a phase contrast microscope. By taking samples from the deepest pockets, we will be able to conduct a microbiological analysis, scientifically monitoring the reduction and elimination of each type of infection-causing pathogen.

When the infection has been eliminated – month 5

By approximately month 5, your infection should have been eliminated. Our dental hygienist can now perform sonic scaling under local anaesthetic to remove calculus from below your gums. Up to four treatments are usually required.  

Therapeutic goal
  • Absence of microbiological risk factors
  •  Clinical signs and symptoms consistent with health
  • No pocket depth more than 3mm
  • Hygiene autonomy for patient
Preventing gum disease

You’re advised to have two to three cleans per year with our dental hygienist. These will be the same kind of cleans as at your first appointment.

Traditional vs biological treatment

The traditional treatment for periodontitis is the non-surgical, mechanical removal of plaque and calculus from the root, and the surgical removal of damaged/inflamed tissues. This may or may not include a course of oral antibiotics.

 

The root of the tooth is the part of the tooth under the gum which has no enamel covering it. Mechanical root planing removes the calculus caused by the infection but depending on the skill of the operator and number of treatments required, it can also remove a lot, or all, of the healthy tooth structure – the cementum layer. This leads to dentin hypersensitivity.

 

Root planing has traditionally been based on the understanding that plaque penetrates and infects the cementum. The removal of infected cementum was considered imperative in re- establishing healthy gums. However, recent studies report that cementum is not infected with endotoxins, and therefore removing the cementum is unnecessary in achieving periodontal therapy success.

 

Biological gum disease treatments aim to eliminate the infection whilst preserving valuable tooth structure. In conjunction with ultrasonic scaling of the tooth and root, we use proven-methods such as at-home mouth rinses and topical applications for the infected gums. However, if your disease is extremely advanced upon diagnosis and you prefer, we will refer you to a specialist periodontist.

 

Method to cure your gum disease, by Mark Bonner MD. Please protect your health by taking good care of your teeth and gums! Read more.