Chronic Inflammation Can Damage and Destroy Your Dental and Overall Health.

Chronic inflammation has many causes. Infection, environmental toxins, poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and other lifestyle habits can lead to chronic inflammation. Bacterial infection is one that we deal with in the dental office every single day. Whether it is gum infection, an infected wisdom tooth or a tooth abscess caused by a deep cavity all can lead to acute or chronic infection. The bacteria can enter your soft tissue and blood vessels and act locally or travel to distant places and cause systemic health issues. At conferences, photographs are shown of diseased inner lining of an artery wall. It looks just like the lining of an infected gum pocket. In fact if you have periodontal disease you are 168% more likely to have heart disease, 250% more likely to have a stroke, 300% more likely to have diabetes, 200% more likely to have osteoporosis, and if your are a pregnant women 700% more likely to have a low birth weight baby. And it is a two way street. If you are under chronic stress you have 2 times greater risk of having periodontal disease. If you smoke you are 5 times greater risk of having periodontal disease. If you have diabetes you have a 3 times greater risk of having periodontal disease. If you smoke and have diabetes you have a 20 times greater risk of having periodontal disease and if you are nutritionally deficient you have a 1.5 timer greater likelihood of having periodontal disease.

Good Morning!

This week’s blog comes from our Hygienist, Annika:

We have been so happy with our laser deep pocket therapy as treatment for periodontal disease. We have been using two different lasers, the Waterlase MD and the Epic 10 laser in addition to traditional treatment for patients with periodontal disease. As you probably know, periodontal disease is caused by 11 different harmful bacteria. This dual wavelength approach attacks bacteria and treats diseased gum tissue in a way that is impossible with traditional methods. Instead of merely removing tartar and bacteria, as with traditional scaling and root planing, we use our two lasers to disinfect the tissue, destroy toxins the bacteria produce that break down gum tissue, enhance healing, promote bone regrowth and tissue reattachment. This laser energy also increases lymphatic flow, the production of endorphins, increased microcirculation, and increased collagen formation.

In the last few months since we have been doing ceramic implants, we’ve been able to utilize an important piece of technology: CBCT scans. What is a CBCT scan? And how are we using it? Why is it so important? We will answer those questions in this blog post.

First of all, what is a CBCT scan? CBCT stands for Cone Beam Computed Tomography. It is a type of x-ray that is divergent and forms a cone and gives us a 3 dimensional image. During the CBCT scan, the scanning machine rotates around the patient’s head, similar to a CAT scan, and takes about 600 different images. These images are then reconstructed and a 3D voxel is produced from the data. Special software is needed to read these scans, but once loaded, they can be manipulated and visualized on a computer screen for diagnosis and planning.

Do I really have to have gold or metal under my new porcelain crown?

We receive this question often. The patient goes to the dentist and is told that the crown will not be strong enough if they don’t put a metal core under the porcelain. This type of porcelain fused to metal or gold has been used in dentistry for over 50 years. In our practice it is rare for us to use this type of crown. All-ceramic crowns with no metal have been available for years. In my own mouth I have an all porcelain bridge and all porcelain crowns that have been in my mouth for 18 years. We now have new generation of all-ceramic crowns that are even stronger than the ones I have in my mouth. I did not want metal because of the esthetics and biocompatibility issues. When porcelain to metal crowns are used, more tooth has to be ground away so they can cover the metal. Even then patients complain about the dark line at the gum. I also notice red, inflamed gums, which is often caused by allergy or sensitivity to the metal. Another reason I don’t like the porcelain to metal is galvanism. Galvanism is an electric charge that is generated when two or more dissimilar metals are together with moisture. One Russian study showed an increase in bone damage around teeth with galvanism. I have had a virtually metal free practice since the 1980’s so I know they are strong, beautiful and biocompatible.