Gum disease, known as periodontitis, is a condition in which the supporting structures of the teeth become chronically inflamed. This becomes clinically evident by redness, swelling and bleeding of the gums-during routine cleanings or during daily brushing. These clinical factors are the body’s response to the higher amounts of bacteria found on the teeth and under the gums. Overtime, the chronic inflammatory response to these bacteria can lead to damage of the supporting structures of the teeth.
So, what does all of that mean?
When we brush our teeth and visit the dentist for regular cleanings, we are able to remove plaque and calculus from our teeth. When we don’t, these things build-up and create periodontal pocketing-a gap between the gums and the roots of the teeth. The normal bacteria we have and need in our mouth suddenly have a place, below our gums and embedded in the plaque, where they can thrive and multiply in numbers-they can change from helpful to harmful.
Certain bacteria in the mouth are necessary to help digest our foods and fight off disease, but too many of the harmful bacteria allowed to multiply without limits causes the release of harmful by-products. Our body has to respond by activating its inflammatory response. The chronic inflammation, combined with the presence of these harmful bacteria, causes loss of bone and attachments to our teeth and they can become loose. Left untreated, otherwise healthy teeth can be lost to periodontal disease.
What else can cause gum disease?
Periodontitis can only occur with the presence of unremoved plaque and calculus. However, things such as smoking or diabetes can weaken the body’s defenses and thus the disease can progress faster.
So, what do we do?
The first line of defense is regular brushing and flossing. This takes care of the easy places to reach inside the mouth. Next, have regular dental cleaning visits to take care of those harder to reach areas. Advanced cases of periodontitis may require surgical interventions from a specialist to help reduce pocketing and making it easier to keep the teeth clean. And finally, make sure to keep the body healthy so that it can have an appropriate immune response.
Dr. Victor Marfo studied Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Washington. After completing his studies at University of Washington he went on to attend the prestigious Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York. It was at this institution that Dr. Marfo developed a keen interest in Endodontics. After obtaining his DDS degree from Columbia University he was directly admitted to the university’s renowned Endodontic residency program. While attending this program Dr. Marfo obtained specialized training in Conventional Root Canal Therapy and Microsurgical Endodontics. Over the next few years he travelled extensively across the continent and is extremely excited to return to the place where it all started, which of course is the great Pacific Northwest.
Dr. Marfo’s career has been an excellent one as he’s performed thousands of surgical and non-surgical root canals.
Although his abilities are highly professional, his attitude remains soft, caring and calming which is what truly sets him apart. His aim is to save the world, even if it has to be one tooth at a time. Dr. Marfo actively participates in continuing education and study clubs. His special interests include dental emergency management especially dental trauma management. Alongside this he also enjoys playing a few rounds of tennis and giving out some good laughs with his stand-up comedy.
Dr. Marfo and his staff assure you that your procedure and post procedure requirements will be taken care of in an efficient and timely manner.
Brushing your baby's teeth is crucial in the earlier stages of life. Even before their first adorable tooth pops up, you can gently brush their gums. A wet washcloth or a baby finger toothbrush is recommended by most dentists. Some babies may fuss or chop down and some babies may giggle, but what is important is wiping them down at least twice a day no matter how your little on reacts. Though easily preventable with good care, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of children and teens ages 6 to 19.
Early preventative care for your child saves you money in the long run. By their first birthday your child should see a dentist for a check-up. First visits can vary from office to office, but most first check-up for children age 1 and under are fairly quick.