Oral Systemic Link
Palo Alto, CA
Gum disease is a common dental disorder that can have devastating effects if left untreated.
Chronic periodontitis, or gum disease, can cause severe damage to your gum tissue, bone tissue, and the bacteria associated with it can cause problems in other areas of your body.
Bacteria from gum disease have been found traveling in the circulatory system. Our doctors, along with our team at Palo Alto Oral Health can help you gain control of this destructive disease improving your oral and overall health.
Our mouths naturally create a material known as plaque. It is a blend of saliva and food debris from our mouth.
This plaque material can collect along the rim and between our teeth, and as a thin layer on our teeth known as biofilm.
Bacteria thrives in plaque, where it feeds on the sugars present in the food debris.
This means that bacteria is in contact with the surface of our teeth, and along the gumline.
We want to frequently remove plaque through brushing, at least twice a day. If it is not removed, plaque causes tooth decay and gum disease.
The bacteria of plaque has even been found on the walls of our arteries.
What is the Systemic Link with Oral Bacteria?
The human body is composed of multiple smaller working units to make one large unit functional.
The body comes with various layers of protection to support and protect these working units including our skin and bone.
The body also protects itself by limiting its exposure to outside elements by only having a few areas of openings.
The mouth is one of those areas that allows passage inside of our body. The mouth is cleverly designed with defenses to protect passage inside of our body to keep most bacteria out.
This means that the mouth catches a lot of bacteria and does its best to filter out the harmful effects.
We can help it through regular brushing, flossing and rinsing, along with being aware of our diet and what we put into our mouths.
Bacteria that attack our gums and teeth can then move on to attack other areas of our body.
Recent insights to periodontal disease and the bacteria associated with it has been widely recognized with systemic illness.
The oral inflammation of plaque and gum disease as an oral pathology has been linked to other health related problems including heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight babies and even Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Ongoing research is studying the nature of the link between oral health and systemic health but it stands to reason that inflammation in any part of the body is not good for the rest of the systems.
Gum disease can be a larger problem than you think.
Even though the symptoms of acute inflammation appear to be a local issue, inflammation is not a localized event, it is a systemic response.
While the factors that mediate the inflammatory response act locally they are released system wide.
It is the systemic nature of inflammation that is a concern in the oral systemic link.
How Can I Gain Control of Bacteria in a More Holistic Way?
We can show you how to gain control of inflammation in your oral cavity, ridding the harmful bacteria, and improving your oral health.
These steps are better for your oral and overall health.
To gain control, we will take steps both in office, and educate you on steps to take at home.
In Our Office
The first step toward removing harmful bacteria is a cleaning appointment with our professional hygienist.
The process begins with assessing the tissue and measuring the gum pockets. Each gum pocket is measured and recorded.
This allows us to be aware of changes at future appointments and be more aware of both positive or negative progress.
Gum pocket measurements exceeding 3mm are areas that we will want to address. This is often the preliminary step before a dental cleaning.
The level of dental cleaning
is determined by the measurements we recorded.
Most adult patients will have a deeper dental cleaning completed using a technique known as scaling and root planing.
Scaling can be completed with a hand tool, or a device known as an ultrasonic scaler.
The tool performs a step that can be described as a power wash to your teeth. It has a vibrating tip and a directed stream of water.
The water is oxygenated with micro bubbles that burst on the teeth helping to dislodge or loosen any hardened calculus or plaque. The vibrating tip then removes this material.
Some patients find the sensation to be satisfying, and some find it to be uncomfortable.
We are able to apply a local anesthetic to slightly numb the area as needed.
Root planing is a step in which we smooth the roots of the tooth.
Plaque can cause roots to become crinkled, or bunched, making it easier for plaque to cause damage.
We smooth the roots to improve the health of the tooth and to induce a healing response from your body.
Education for At Home Treatment
We value the time with our patients to educate them on their oral health.
Oftentimes we find that our patients are doing many steps correctly and a few small course changes will make a big difference.
We are happy to discuss brushing and flossing techniques and variations that may improve your oral health.
We are happy to answer questions on tools such as rotating or electric toothbrushes, and various tools for flossing.
We understand that not all patients find the same tips or tools to be useful. We want to help you find what works for you.
Additionally, we may be able to prescribe rinses to help battle bacteria and help you be more successful.
At Palo Alto Oral Health we are working to give you the information and the tools to help control oral inflammation before it becomes a factor in your systemic health.
Our dental professionals are here to help you achieve your best oral health outcome.
Because we believe it is about "Caring, Not Just Care."
Learn more about Holistic Dentistry here.
Call us Today!
Want To Learn More About The Oral Systemic Link? If you live in or around Palo Alto give us a call today at (650) 321-9693!