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Periodontal Disease and Treatment

April 8, 2014

Periodontal Disease and Treatment

Periodontal disease is the loss of the supporting structures of the teeth namely gums and bone.  Treatment can take many forms depending on the severity of the disease, the location of the periodontal disease and variables between patients based on comfort goals and finances.  In our office, we believe it is important that your periodontal disease is explained to you and that you have the opportunity to ask questions and select the best treatment for you!

Advanced periodontal disease and gum disease.

Periodontal disease and gum disease.

 

Advanced periodontal disease and gum disease after treatment.

Periodontal disease and gum disease after treatment.

You can benefit from periodontal disease treatment!  The tissue can heal completely but bone loss that has already occurred (periodontal disease, by definition, includes bone loss) may never return. So the earlier treatment begins, the better.

  • This will help you maintain the affected teeth as long as possible.
  • Treatment will assist in the control of bad breath
  • Periodontal disease treatment may well reduce the risk of some systemic diseases

Periodontal disease is an infectious ongoing disease that must be well maintained with adequate home care (That’s right – you are an important part in the success of periodontal disease treatment!) and regularly scheduled re-care visits.

Periodontal disease and gum disease.

Periodontal disease and gum disease.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment - bone loss remains but gums have healed.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment – bone loss remains but gums have healed.

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC .  We feel that your dental health is the top priority, and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  I feel our dental hygienists are the very best in the valley! Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

Julie Gillis, DDS,

“Restoring Smiles – Restoring Health”

What is Tartar and Why Should I Care?

December 17, 2012

What Is Tartar and Why Should I Care?

Gross tartar deposits, blunted tissue, periodontal disease

Please see the tartar on the following photos:

Heavy deposits of tartar behind lower front teeth.

The real problem with tartar lies in the fact that once tartar forms, it is very difficult or impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss. We compare the formation of tartar on your teeth to the formation of calcium deposits on your faucets or the formation of barnacles on a ships
hull.

Moderate tartar deposits - moderate gum inflammation

Because tartar is bound to your teeth so strongly, careful removal of tartar requires the assistance of a dental professional – your dentist or dental hygienist will do this for you.  Tartar makes the teeth rough and creates places for even more bacteria and food to accumulate leading to gun disease, periodontal disease, decay, bad breath, and more tartar!  It is a vicious cycle.  Other common names for tartar are calculus and crud!

The accumulation of tartar requires three things:

1)    The presence of an organized film of bacteria – and yes, new bacteria are always there ready and willing to take the place of bacteria that have been removed by brushing and flossing!  As soon as you brush and floss, more bacteria begin to accumulate on your teeth and gums as well as in the crevice between the teeth and gums where the bacteria are hard to reach but can usually be removed with careful dental flossing.
2)    The presence of food and minerals for the bacteria.  These things are almost always present in anyone’s mouth.
3)    The presence of teeth!
We used the term, ‘organized film of bacteria’ above.  This is very important because part of what you are doing when you brush and floss your teeth is simply stirring up the bacteria that are present.  Bringing the worst bacteria out from under your gums and into the oxygenated openness of your mouth limits tartar formation and limits colonies of bacteria to form which can then lead to gum disease and periodontal disease.

See tartar and defective restorations

Some of the tartar in your mouth can be seen easily by looking closely in a mirror.  Don’t be tempted to scrapethe tartar off yourself though. You may accidently scrape away some of the surface of your teeth along with the tartar deposits which can permanently make the teeth weak!  The most damaging tartar is the tartar that forms below the gums where it can be seen on x-rays and felt by a skilled dental professional.
If you would like to see images of your teeth and see the tartar that is being evaluated or treated, please ask us!  Our office would be happy to explain in as much detail as you would like what is going on in your mouth.  Conversely, if you would just like to enjoy peaceful or rocking music while you are being treated and remain oblivious to the nuts and bolts of the procedures we would be happy to do this as well.  Once you make an informed decision about your dental care we will strive to treat you as comfortably as possible!  Our office is located in Grand Junction,
Colorado.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635.  Please visit us on Facebook (see Julie M Gillis DDS PC) or call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Julie Gillis DDS

If Your Teeth Could Talk… The Mouth’s Clues Part 1

February 28, 2012



Gross Periodontal Disease

 

 

Periodontal health much improved!

 

Please see the photographs here:  Is this you? 

This is a before and after of the same patient.  The treatment consisted of oral hygiene instruction, periodontal debridement, laser assisted periodontal therapy, and improved brushing and flossing by the patient. The time elapsed bnetween these photographs is a few months.  It doesn’t take long to get healthy and you will achieve a lifetime of benefits!

Look closely at your own gums – about 90% of the population has some amount of gingivitis – do your gums look pink?  Are they inflamed?  Do they bleed when you brush or floss? (They shouldn’t! Not at all!)  

From the Wall Street Journal/ Health Journal December 27th 2011

If Your Teeth Could Talk …

The Mouth Offers Clues to Disorders and Disease; Dentists Could Play Larger Role in Patient Care

  • By MELINDA BECK

 The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the mouth provides an even better view of the body as a whole.

Some of the earliest signs of diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, immune disorders, hormone imbalances and drug issues show up in the gums, teeth and tongue—sometimes long before a patient knows anything is wrong.

WSJ ‘Personal Journal’ Senior Editor Melinda Beck explains that one’s teeth and gums hold a lot of details about the body’s overall health. Also, don’t be fooled by a bright set of pearly whites. Tom Gannam/AP Images for Crest and Oral-B

There’s also growing evidence that oral health problems, particularly gum disease, can harm a patient’s general health as well, raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and pregnancy complications.

“We have lots of data showing a direct correlation between inflammation in the mouth and inflammation in the body,” says Anthony Iacopino, director of the International Centre for Oral-Systemic Health, which opened at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry in Canada in 2008. Recent studies also show that treating gum disease improves circulation, reduces inflammation and can even reduce the need for insulin in people with diabetes.

Such findings are fueling a push for dentists to play a greater role in patients’ overall health. Some 20 million Americans—including 6% of children and 9% of adults—saw a dentist but not a doctor in 2008, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health this month.

“It’s an opportunity to tell a patient, ‘You know, I’m concerned. I think you really need to see a primary care provider,’ so you are moving in the direction of better health,” says the study’s lead researcher Shiela Strauss, co-director of statistics and data management for New York University’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry.

George Kivowitz, a restorative dentist with offices in Manhattan and Newtown, Pa., says he has spotted seven cases of cancer in 32 years of practice, as well as cases of bulimia, due to the telltale erosion of enamel on the back of the upper front teeth, and methamphetamine addiction. “We call it ‘meth mouth,’ ” he says. “The outer surface of teeth just rot in a way that’s like nothing else.”

Some of the most distinctive problems come from uncontrolled diabetes, Dr. Kivowitz adds. “The gum tissue has a glistening, shiny look where it meets the teeth. It bleeds easily and pulls away from the bone—and it’s all throughout the mouth.”

An estimated six million Americans have diabetes but don’t know it—and several studies suggest that dentists could help alert them. A 2009 study from New York University found that 93% of people who have periodontal disease are at risk for diabetes, according to the criteria established by American Diabetes Association.

It’s not just that the same lifestyle habits contribute to both gum disease and high blood sugar; the two conditions exacerbate each other, experts say. Inflammation from infected gums makes it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood-sugar level, and high blood sugar accelerates tooth decay and gum disease, creating more inflammation.

In our office, we like to tell people that gums are just like skin, and it is not healthy to have skin with open sores, ulcerations, areas that bleed, or any infections.  Healthy skin and healthy gums protect our bodies from the bacteria all around us that cause diseases.  Open sores and infected gums allow bacteria to enter our bloodstreams and cause further problems.  

Our biggest problem is that gum disease doesn’t really hurt like infections elsewhere, so people tend to think it is normal for their gums to bleed when they brush, floss, or eat certain foods.  Our office will thoroughly evaluate your gum tissues for any signs of infection or inflammation and show you what should be done to eliminate this for a healthier mouth and a healthier body!

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy

January 3, 2012

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy

As described to patients by my treatment assistant, Regina

Moderate to Advanced Periodontal Disease

 

Everyone has spaces between the gums and the teeth where bacteria and food accumulate.  Bacteria under the gums in patients with periodontal disease and gum disease or gingivitis cause inflammation which leads to deepening of the pockets in the gum tissue around the teeth.  Normal healthy pockets range from 1-3mm in depth.  You can keep these pockets clean by routine brushing and flossing.  When the pockets get deeper than 3mm, it is impossible to clean them – even if you are great at brushing and flossing!

As a result, the harmful bacteria living at the bottom of the unreachable pocket cause gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontal disease or loss of the supporting bone around the teeth.  Without treatment the teeth will lose enough support to become loose and will eventually be lost.

After removing tarter (calcified deposits), stain and debris by scaling, polishing, and sometimes ultrasonic cleaning devices, a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around your teeth.  The laser kills the bacteria that cause gum disease and periodontal disease. This promotes healing of your gums around your teeth.The laser can also increase circulation and collagen formation at the bottom of your periodontal pockets.  This specialized treatment is usually performed multiple times over a period of a few weeks.

Laser in use around healthy tissue

 

The dentist and hygienist will evaluate the results of treatment and determine what type of maintenance schedule is best for you so that you can keep the remaining teeth for a lifetime.

Heavy Tartar, Gingival Recession & Periodontal Disease

 

After removing the tarter, a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around your teeth.  The laser kills the bacteria that cause gum disease. This promotes healing of your gums around your teeth.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about periodontal diseasegum disease, orgingivitis.  We would be glad to help!

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

Why compare sweat and body odor to bacteria and mouth odor!

November 28, 2011

Why compare sweat and body odor to bacteria and mouth odor! Mostly for fun, partly for information, and possibly for motivation!

Severe gum disease or gingivitis

This blog is not for the squeemish or the faint unless they can use this information as a motivation for regular, thorough brushing and flossing and dental visits.  The terms are not particularly scientific, but we have found them to be more easily understood. Please read on! Our goal is for your improved oral health.  And maybe you will want to exercise more for the satisfaction that only good ‘clean’ sweat can bring!

There are two basic kinds of sweat.  There is the “sedentary sweat” which is produced by apocrine glands located at the base of hair follicles in the scalp, groin, and armpits.  Apocrine sweat is laced with the shirt-yellowing  fats and proteins that bacteria like to snack on, whereas “exercise sweat” is produced by eccrine glands, and is mostly water and salt.  Apocrine produces the clammy, musky, I-wish-he-wasn’t-sitting-by-me sweat, while eccrine makes the clear, odorless droplets running down an active body.

Heavy tartar, gingivitis and periodontal disease

There are multiple kinds of bacteria!  The good guys – beneficial bacteria associated with a healthy mouth, healthy gums, and the bad, harmful bacteria that build up over time that are responsible for bad breath, bleeding, pussy, infected gums (gingivitis) and the progression to periodontal disease which always includes the loss of the bone that supports the teeth.  Bone loss due to periodontal disease is always permanent so it is best to prevent it from happening or stop it in its tracks so that it does not continue!

So how can we fight this grossness?

(Gum disease, Periodontal disease, bleeding, pus and infection in gums and supporting bone)

Glad you asked!  Bacteria are constantly accumulating on your teeth and gums.  It takes a few hours for the bacteria to get ‘clingy’ enough to cause harm.  the clingy film of bacteria and food is called plaque.  So, brushing correctly a couple times a day plus flossing at least once a day seems to be enough to manage routine plaque build up.  Once the soft plaque has solidified with minerals like in this photo, it can no longer be brushed off.  Thats where dental professionals – dentists and dental hygienists – can help.  We can diagnose what is needed to get the teeth and gums healthy and then show you how to keep them that way.  Even with some bone loss, if periodontal disease and gum disease is treated early you can still keep your teeth for years.

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are ‘exercise’ for your teeth and gums. AND, You dont have to worry about sweat with this kind of exercise!

Please contact our office for further information!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com