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Holistic Dentist Midland, TX
Tim W. Tannich, D.D.S., P.A.
Integrated Family Dental Health
Total Body Wellness
Call to Schedule an Appointment 
432-242-6771

Copy of PERIODONTAL DISEASE

LASER PERIODONTAL TREATMENT FOR MIDLAND & ODESSA, TX

My staff and I have implemented modern methods of treating all areas of dental health including:
  • Periodontal Disease  
  • Laser and Ozone Therapy  
  • Cosmetic Dentistry  
  • Crowns and Dentures for Dental Implants  
  • TMJ, Migraine and Headache Pain Management 
  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea    
Exceptional levels of success are our hallmark. We are a mercury-free practice. We look forward to partnering with you on your journey to better dental health and improved well-being and Total Body Wellness. Although our multi-faceted program for the treatment of periodontal disease is highly successful, traditional therapy may be necessary. Periodontal disease cannot be eliminated in all patients. Be assured, however, that Dr. Tannich is fully committed to your best dental health. If it is necessary to refer you to a periodontal specialist, they will advise you. Dr. Tannich is not a periodontist, although he has engaged in advanced periodontal education.  

Our health care team is highly skilled, well trained and passionate about providing you with the personalized care you need. We are grateful that you have placed your trust in us. We pledge to listen carefully and respond effectively with your complete health in mind. My staff and I are dedicated to your dental health and general health. We want to provide you with optimal dental care that brings you into total body wellness. Studies continue to show the close connection between dental health and Total Body Wellness. 

We are equipped to help patients improve both. We want to work with you and your other health care providers to achieve your best possible health.
ABOUT PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Periodontal disease can destroy the gums and bone, resulting in painful, swollen, and bleeding gums. The disappointing final result can be loss of your teeth. At Tim W. Tannich, D.D.S., integrated family dental health, we know there is a connection between your overall health and your dental health. That’s why we offer holistic dentistry, to help our patients detect and prevent periodontal disease. 

If you notice swollen gums, regular bad breath, tender gums, or loose teeth, you may be seeing the symptoms of periodontal disease. Browse the sections below for more information about the identification and treatment of this disease.

WHAT IS PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE?

The word ‘periodontal' comes from two Greek words meaning ‘around the teeth.’ In other words, it's a disease of your gums and your jawbone. Periodontal disease involves two main conditions: gingivitis, or an inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis, or an inflammation around the tooth. Untreated gingivitis can often lead to the more serious condition of periodontitis. In this latter disease, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that can trap germs, become infected and begin to bleed. This in turn breaks down the bone and the connective tissue that holds teeth in place. It's not hard to guess what happens next if this disease is left untreated. Experts believe that up to 85 percent of Americans currently have some form of this condition.

Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can cause shifting teeth, loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. 

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly treated.

TYPES OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE
When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) can spread to below the gum line. When the gums become irritated by the toxins contained in plaque, a chronic inflammatory response causes the body to break down and destroy its own bone and soft tissue. There may be little or no symptoms as periodontal disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue. Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth are generally indicative that soft tissue and bone is being destroyed by periodontal disease.

Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:
  • Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues cause deep pockets and gum recession. It may appear the teeth are lengthening, but in actuality, the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterized by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
  • Aggressive periodontitis – This form of gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction and familial aggregation.
  • Necrotizing periodontitis – This form of periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression and malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.
  • Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease often begins at an early age. Medical condition such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease are common cofactors.
TREATMENT FOR PERIODONTAL DISEASE
There are surgical and nonsurgical treatments, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended.

Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:
  • Non-surgical Treatment for Periodontal Disease – We are often able to treat with a non-surgical approach, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is recommended or performed.
  • Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy – Is a conservative non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. It is sometimes known as Scaling and Root Planing. It is usually a series of appointments done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). After removing the tartar and calculus the laser is used to remove diseased and infected tissues lining the pocket. The Laser will also kill the bacteria that causes the gum disease and promote healing and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. Regular hygiene follow-up appointments are necessary to maintain health.
    • If the pockets do not heal after laser assisted periodontal therapy, your dentist may also recommend that you consult with a periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
The word ‘periodontal' comes from two Greek words meaning ‘around the teeth.’ In other words, it's a disease of your gums and your jawbone. Periodontal disease involves two main conditions: gingivitis, or an inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis, or an inflammation around the tooth. Untreated gingivitis can often lead to the more serious condition of periodontitis. In this latter disease, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that can trap germs, become infected and begin to bleed. This in turn breaks down the bone and the connective tissue that holds teeth in place. It's not hard to guess what happens next if this disease is left untreated. Experts believe that up to 85 percent of Americans currently have some form of this condition.

Please contact our office if you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease, periodontal treatment, or dental implants. 
TREATMENT 
Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatments.

Periodontal disease progresses as the pocket between the tooth and gums that gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation and disease to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth! Left untreated this can result in tooth loss. 

If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two appointments will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy Is a conservative non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. It is sometimes known as Scaling and Root Planing. It is usually a series of appointments done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). After removing the tartar and calculus the laser is used to remove diseased and infected tissues lining the pocket. The Laser will also kill the bacteria that causes the gum disease and promote healing and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. Regular hygiene follow-up appointments are necessary to maintain health. 

If the pockets do not heal after laser assisted periodontal therapy, Your dentist may also recommend that you consult with a periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
LASER USE IN PERIODONTAL DISEASE (Gum Disease)
Your dentist has diagnosed you as having periodontal disease or gum disease. This is an infection of bone and supporting structures of your teeth. Before 30 years of age, decay is the major reason for tooth loss and after 30 years of age, gum disease is the major reason for tooth loss. It is estimated that over 80 percent of the adult population has gum disease to one degree or another. Periodontal bacteria can cause an inflammatory reaction which leads to destruction of the fibers that connect teeth to bone and can create a space that dentists and hygienists call a periodontal pocket. While everyone has some amount of pocketing the normal depths are 1-3 mm. You can keep 3 mm or less pockets clean by yourself with routine brushing, flossing and rinsing. However, in your situation you have pockets that are deeper than 3 mm and it is impossible for you to clean and maintain them. As a result, you have debris and bacteria living at the bottom of these pockets which has led to chronic gum infection, you may have noticed a bad taste or odor in your mouth at times from these infections. As we age we become more susceptible to periodontal bacteria and lack of proper hygiene or cleaning is another reason for periodontal disease. Without treatment, your teeth will lose enough support to become loose and painful and will eventually be lost.
HOW ARE LASERS USED TO TREAT GUM DISEASE?
Your dentist has recommended a conservative non-surgical treatment for your periodontal disease. With proper homecare and your participation, this procedure can often alleviate the problem. Your dentist or hygienist will go around each involved tooth to remove any debris and calcified deposits that are adhering to your teeth in a process called scaling and root planning. A good analogy to this part of the cleaning is like removing barnacles off of a pier. Scaling and root planning will remove the mechanical irritants to your gums and supporting bone. It also removes a major reservoir of periodontal bacteria. After removing the tartar and calculus, a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around your teeth. At the same time, the laser will kill the bacteria that cause your gum disease and promote healing of your gums around your teeth. Some lasers can help increase circulation and collagen formation at the bottom of your periodontal pockets and help revive or rejuvenate your attachment. This specialized treatment is usually performed multiple times over a period of a few weeks.
IS THIS A NEW PROCEDURE?
Lasers have been in use in medicine and dentistry for many years. The FDA has approved the use of lasers for many dental procedures including those discussed here.
WHY DOES MY DENTIST USE A LASER OVER OTHER INSTRUMENTS?
Lasers are used because of the precise control they afford the dentist and the comfort they provide to patients. Lasers perform many functions at once. Not only can a laser remove tissue but it can also be used to seal blood vessels and nerve endings, reduce bleeding and postoperative pain and swelling. Dentists and patients also appreciate that many times a laser may be used with minimal or no anesthetic.
WHAT ABOUT PAIN?
One of the biggest advantages of laser therapy is the fact that many times procedures can be performed with much less discomfort and postoperative pain than with conventional methods. This is due to the lasers ability to seal off nerve endings and blood vessels and to be tissue specific during treatment. Hard tissue lasers have been reported to have an analgesia type effect making the use of anesthetic unnecessary in many cases. Since hard tissue lasers are used in a non-contact manner there is also less heat and vibration produced versus a traditional hand-piece.
WHAT ABOUT DAMAGE TO MY EYES?
Your dentist or hygienist will have you wear special safety eyewear during the laser periodontal treatment procedure. These specially designed glasses also protect your eyes from other materials that may be used during your therapy.
MAINTENANCE 
It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)! Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.

Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!
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