Gum Disease

Get the Facts on Gum Disease

Gum disease is now considered to be an important contributor to heart disease. Bacteria and inflammatory products from persons with gum disease are believed to enter the blood stream, become attached to the atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels and trigger blood clots.  The C-reactive protein test predicts the risk of heart disease by measuring a person’s level of circulating inflammation. Recent studies have shown that treating a person’s gum disease is accompanied by a decrease in their C-reactive protein levels, thereby lowering their risk of heart disease.  Get your blood tested today for C-reactive protein.  It could be a lifesaver.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis or gum disease is an infection of the supporting structures of the teeth (the gums and the jawbone).  It is usually caused by bacteria that live in the mouth.  Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. The good news is that periodontal disease is treatable and can even be prevented.



How is periodontal disease treated?

Periodontal disease requires the services of a specialist.  As a periodontist, Dr. Pawlowski is specially trained in the field and provides the highest quality care possible.  He works with your general dentist, serving as an extension of your dentist’s skill, care, and judgment. Dr. Pawlowski has a very conservative approach to periodontal treatment. A combination of low-dose medication, periodontal deep cleaning, and patient participation create the best treatment. In some cases surgery may be required to ensure that both your gums and bone levels are healthy.

What type of medication do we use to treat gum disease?

We typically start treatment with a combination of antibiotics specially designed to attack the bacteria that harbor the allergens responsible for gum disease. This is followed by maintenance on Periostat, a safe medication designed to block the inflammation caused by bacterial allergens. When combined with periodontal cleanings periodontal disease can be safely and reliably arrested.

How is plaque harmful?

Plaque buildup is one cause of periodontal disease.  When regular brushing and flossing don’t clear away the plaque, it can harden into a hard, brownish substance called calculus.  Plaque and calculus contain bacterial allergens that stimulate inflammation in the gum tissues. Plaque begins forming on teeth 4 to 12 hours after brushing.  If plaque becomes calculus, it’s harder for you to dislodge new plaque and bacteria.  That’s why it’s so important to brush at least twice each day and to floss daily.


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