Biological Periodontal Therapy
The American Academy of Periodontology estimates that nearly 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease, with about 50% of those cases being moderate to severe.
As a biological dental office, it’s our responsibility not only to recognize and treat this infectious disease in the mouth but to understand the effects it can have on the rest of the body. This mouth/body, oral/systemic relationship is bidirectional. Oral health impacts systemic health, and vice versa.
The most important message we can thus communicate to patients here in our St. Louis office is this: If you’re going to treat periodontal infection, you absolutely must treat the whole body.
The best way to improve overall health – including the mouth – is to bring the chemistry of the body back into balance. People with gum disease aren’t just healthy people with sick gums. Disease, no matter where it appears, is a body chemistry imbalance. Opportunistic conditions will flourish as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites attack the body until balance is restored.
We believe this holistic therapy provides an excellent opportunity to create a healthy periodontium for our patients.
Bear in mind that many systemic health problems have been linked with periodontal infections. These include heart disease, stroke, preterm low birth weight babies, pregnancy gingivitis, stomach ulcers, diabetes, brain abscesses, prosthetic joint failure, and subacute bacterial endocarditis. The risk of having a stroke is two and a half times higher in people with periodontitis.
Therefore, it makes sense that the treatment of periodontal disease along with good nutritional support and quality supplements may offer a new way to prevent strokes and heart disease, not to mention other conditions marked by chronic inflammation.
We believe the best solution for both short- and long-term improvement in gum health is through nutritional support for the body, along with non-surgical periodontal therapy. That approach involves three basic steps for long-term success:
Remove the Pathogens
This is considered the acute phase of therapy and usually requires 3 to 5 visits to complete.
- We irrigate the whole mouth with an antimicrobial rinse that contains essential oils and herbs which will help to reduce the initial exposure of microforms into the bloodstream.
- We treat the periodontal pockets as needed with gross debridement, root planing and scaling, and subgingival irrigation to eliminate pathogens and calculus.
- We use a phase contrast microscope to check on our progress with treating the infection. It’s a great patient motivator, as well, as you can see for yourself how periodontal conditions are improving.
- We end each appointment by again irrigating the full mouth with an antimicrobial rinse and then polish the teeth.
- Natural antibiotics such as garlic extract (Allicin) or oil of oregano may be advised for the infection and inflammation.
Alter the Host Response
This might be the hardest part of the program because you have to take a serious look at your own lifestyle and behaviors to determine areas that need improvement. Following this protocol will certainly enhance your body’s ability to heal and repair damaged tissue.
- Nutritional Guidelines: Get back to basics. Eat natural, fresh, whole foods.
- Fruits and vegetables with low glycemic index.
- Animal products such as white meats and fish.
- Monounsaturated fats – olive oil, olives, nuts, natural peanut butter, almonds and avocados.
- Plenty of WATER!
- Nutritional Supplements
- Coenzyme Q-10
- Vitamin C
- Oil of oregano
Once your biological periodontal therapy is complete, it’s essential that you continue with a maintenance program that’s personally designed for you to ensure a successful outcome for years to come. This will include
- Regular hygiene check-ups, every 3 to 4 months at first, then increase to every 6 months as appropriate.
- Proper home care.
- Healthy diet.
New at Rehme Dental Care: Biological Dentistry for Children
As of January 1, 2023, board certified pediatric dentist Dr. Ackeilia Heatrice will join our practice, treating children with the same protections as we offer our adult patients.