Lansing’s Periodontal Health Specialists
Bechtel Dentistry specializes in periodontal health, offering a full scope of preventative periodontal services and holistic treatment plans. We value the systemic connection between gum health and overall wellness, providing custom-tailored treatments for all of our Lansing patients.
The Periodontal Disease Process
The dreadful story of periodontal disease. A little bit of plaque can lead to a little bit of gum disease. A little bit of gum disease usually leads to a little bit more. This is how gum disease progresses to losing teeth. In some individuals, this process can take months if really aggressive. In most adults, it takes years to occur. The problem with this is that typically when the loss of bone occurs around a tooth, it is permanent and non-repairable. So the best way to stop this process is to never let it begin in the first place. The other problem with gum disease is that you are usually symptom-free until it reaches a severe state and then the damage has been done. We can help you avoid this process or stop it where it stands. Give our office a call.
Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. It is also the most common infectious disease in the world. Research has shown that 35% of adults with teeth between ages 35 to 90 have Periodontitis, 22% have a mild form and 13% have moderate to severe disease.
The risk of periodontal disease increases with age. Although many teenagers and children show symptoms of gingivitis, they are more resistant to developing periodontal disease. Some children and teens may develop aggressive forms of periodontal disease where bone and tooth loss can occur very rapidly.
Recent studies also indicate periodontal disease may be a far more serious threat to your health than previously realized. Periodontal disease increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease. Untreated periodontal disease also worsens diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory infections and causes the birth of premature, low birth weight babies in pregnant women with the disease. More adults lose their teeth to gum disease than any other dental condition. Ironically, certain species of bacteria must be present for periodontal disease to develop. A healthy mouth is home to more than 650 species of bacteria. It is less than 5% of these bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Normally, the body keeps the harmful bacteria under control, however, in patients more susceptible to periodontal disease or those not practicing good dental hygiene, the bad bacteria can literally “take over”.
Harmful bacteria can invade the crevices between the teeth and gums, causing tartar to build up. Tartar is actually hardened bacteria that accumulate along the teeth and under the gums.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
Individual patients may also have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Other factors contributing to the condition include:
- Inadequate dental care
- Poor nutrition
- Genetic factors
- Cigarette and cigar smoking, snuff dipping, chewing tobacco
- Certain medical conditions such as Diabetes
- Grinding / clenching teeth
- Lack of regular dental care
An Oral DNA Test Can Save Your Life
You may have heard people referring to your mouth as the gateway to the rest of your body. Countless research studies have been finding increasing evidence that demonstrates just how significant the health of our mouth impacts the overall health of the rest of our body. This is called the oral-systemic connection. This simply means that your oral health impacts your overall health, and your systemic health (the presence of various diseases and disorders in your body) can affect your oral health.
We Treat Periodontal Disease with a Two-Pronged Approach
What differentiates my practice from other dental offices is that I not only treat the effect of the disease (gum pockets,) I can diagnose the cause of the disease (the specific bacteria.) When I can identify the specific bacteria, I can successfully eliminate them and help prevent the disease from reoccurring. We can screen saliva for the bacteria DNA and then target the specific strains with antimicrobial therapies, depending on the strains found above threshold and then debride and scale, and clean the mouth to set up the body to heal and resist further breakdown. Most dental offices only treat through debridement, scaling, and root planning. We do those, but we also treat with antimicrobials.
OralDNA® Salivary Diagnostics
Your saliva says a lot about your health. Saliva testing is an easy non-invasive way of assessing your unique bacteria profile so that I can give you a personalized treatment plan to restore your oral health and improve your body’s overall state of wellness. We embrace Oral DNA technology to help our patients get healthier.
At my dental practice, we have partnered with OralDNA® Labs, a specialty diagnostic company designed to provide reliable, definitive, and cost-effective clinical tests that guide me in detecting and prognosing disease at an earlier, more treatable stage.
The Systemic Effects of Oral Pathogens
A life-saving saliva test can provide critical information about your entire body. As I mentioned earlier, a healthy mouth is home to more than 650 species of bacteria. Most of these bacteria strains are harmless and maintain a symbiotic relationship with our immune system. However, there are many species that are highly pathogenic. These pathogenic species can cause harm to the tissues, creating a serious inflammatory response that affects many of the organs in the body. As you can see by the graphic below, the systemic effects of oral pathogens are outlined in six areas: Cancer, Cardiovascular Health, Joint and Musculoskeletal Health, Dementia and Brain Health, Metabolic Health, and Healthy pregnancy.
Don’t Wait – Contact Us Today!
Everything about your mouth is deeply connected to what’s going on with your body, mind, and spirit. Being a dedicated holistically and biologically inclined dental practice means we take your dental care a step further by providing education and support around full body health, not just dental health. My dental practice is located in Lansing, MI and we’re just a short drive from other surrounding cities including Holt, Okemos, Mason, Grand Ledge, Dewitt, Haslett, Williamston, St. Johns, Charlotte, Eaton Rapids, East Lansing, and Potterville. Contact the office at (517) 882-7132 to schedule your appointment and start your journey to better wellness.