More and more systemic health problems are being linked to periodontal disease, the gum infection that leads to inflammation and destruction of the bone around the teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by several species of bacteria that, when given the right environment, wreak havoc in the mouth and can even travel to other areas of the body. Chronic inflammation (and it doesn’t matter where the inflammation originates, the chronic inflammatory state affects the entire body) plays a critical role in chronic systemic disease states such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, periodontal disease, and many others.
Have you ever had, or been told it is recommended that you have, a “deep cleaning” or non-surgical periodontal therapy? This treatment can get you headed down the road to healing and helping to control the presence of inflammation, but what if we knew how many of the disease-causing bacteria were in your unique oral flora? Those bad bacteria repopulate and start to take over again after just 90 days of being disturbed by a professional dental cleaning. What if you’re doing all the things your dentist recommends to take care of your periodontal health (cleanings every 3-4 months, using prescription toothpaste and/or mouthwash, FLOSSING!), and you still have progressive gum recession and deeper pockets when the hygienist measures them and bleeding gums?
Davis Dental Health offers a periodontal pathogen screening that detects 39 different disease-causing bacteria, and their relative presence in your normal oral bacteria load. That is, how many of the bad guys versus the good guys, and what that means in terms of your periodontal disease risk.
We also now offer chewable oral probiotics from FidaBiotics (from our lab, FidaLabs, that helps us test for periodontal bacteria, cavity-causing bacteria, and oral HPV) for those patients in the moderate to high range for periodontal disease risk. Changes in the oral bacteria can be seen in as little as two weeks, and use of the probiotics is generally suggested to last at least 90 days.