Long-term Assessment of Periodontal Health

Long-term Assessment of Periodontal Health

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused all dental clinics across Canada to temporarily shut down. Our office closed its doors, appointments were cancelled, and our patients were left to fend for themselves.

Of course, our patients are on an individualized schedule that was created specific for them and their oral needs. Disruption to this schedule caused serious disruption to their oral status and need for periodontal maintenance.

Though we see these effects anecdotally, we have partnered with researchers from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences with Brock University  to determine whether or not this disruption to regularly scheduled care affected periodontal health.

We are currently recruiting patients to participate in this study to help to answer this clinical question with evidence-based proof.

Other goals of this study are to determine the long-term outcomes and overall periodontal health of patients who attend our clinic for routine care, and to follow these participants over time to track their periodontal health.

If you are interested in participating, take a peak at our official Letter of Invitation below and ask your hygienist at your next appointment if you are a candidate! As always, we are so appreciative to our patients for consenting their information be used to further the practice of periodontology and dentistry.

Responsible Graduate Student: Larissa Rowdon

A note to our community,

A note to our community,

Our waiting room is opening! After months and months of collecting dust, our waiting room is finally open to welcome our patients.

All we ask is that patients do not enter the clinic until their exact appointment time so as not to overwhelm the socially distanced waiting room chairs.

Please review the Covid-19 screening questions that were emailed prior to your appointment. Please call us to reschedule if any of your answers to our Covid-19 screening questions change.

We have extensive COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure that we maintain a safe space for all of our patients and the members of our team.

We continue to see new and exisiting patients. Please contact our office for an appointment with Dr. Fritz, Dr. Schuldt, or any one of our dental hygienists.

Thank you for your patience as we traverse this rapid.

Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

– Scott Adams

Dental Implants 101

Dental Implants 101

As adults, we lose teeth for many reasons.  75% of adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease.  However, we may also lose teeth into adulthood due to traumatic injury.  After tooth loss, it’s important to replace with an artificial root and crown.

We tend to think of our bone as a very static system.  In fact, our skeleton is very dynamic, constantly undergoing breakdown balanced with rebuilding.  One of the major stimuli for bone rebuilding are external forces.  Just as weight-bearing exercise is important to keep our large bones strong, chewing applies forces to our jaw bone that keeps them strong!

When we lose a tooth, the bone that once supported that tooth no longer experiences the forces applied when we chew our food and the bone begins to resorb (i.e., deteriorate).

If left for long enough periods of time, this bone loss can eventually alter the integrity of your facial structure, changing your appearance.  It can also compromise the function and security of the adjacent and opposing teeth (without a tooth to chew against, the opposing tooth will also suddenly lose the chewing forces it was once used to).  Ultimately, this may even change your ability to maintain a healthy diet and proper digestion.

In some cases, bone has deteriorated so drastically that Dr. Fritz or Dr. Schuldt may need to use additional bone material during the implant placement procedure to stabilize the implant.  Or, your periodontist may even need to perform a preliminary procedure to add bone, allow time for it to calcify and harden, before inserting the dental implant.

The only way to know if you are a good candidate for a dental implant and if you may require additional bone to support an implant is to visit your periodontist for a comprehensive examination.  A CBCT, 3D X-ray, is also essential in the planning stages of your dental implant to allow your periodontist to visualize in 3-dimensions your exact anatomy and the quality and quantity of your bone into which the dental implant will be placed.

Periodontal Disease 101

Periodontal Disease 101

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, begins with chronic bacterial growth in the mouth.  If left untreated, periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss.

What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

Initially, bacteria build a home in the spaces between the tooth and the gum, called the periodontal pocket.  In the early stages, called gingivitis, the gums can become inflamed, red, sore, and can easily bleed when brushing or flossing.  Some people may even have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth.  If left untreated, inflamed and enlarged gums can even cause your teeth to shift and move.

Often this pain, inflammation and bleeding makes people want to brush and floss even less – exacerbating the problem.

Although the gums are inflamed and irritated, the tooth is still firmly rooted in the jaw bone.  However, as the bacterial infection grows, the bone tissue begins to be eaten away, like steel turning to rust.  When this happens, the teeth that were once anchored in the bone become loose and will eventually fall out.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, but unlike in children the tooth fairy can’t help you.

To stop the progression of this disease, it is important to see your periodontist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, which usually includes an initial deep cleaning followed by proper at home care and regular supportive periodontal therapy visits with your dental hygienist.

What causes Periodontal Disease?

Poor plaque control is the primary cause of periodontal disease.  Therefore, the first line of defence in reducing gum disease is at home care.

Other factors can make a person more susceptible to gum disease.  These factors include:

  • Family history of periodontal disease
  • Diabetic control
  • Heart disease
  • Medications – some medications have an effect on our oral health as they can increase or decrease saliva flow, which acts as a natural rinse in the mouth
  • Smoking status
  • Regular dental hygiene visits

How do I treat Periodontal Disease?

The first line of defence in reducing gum disease is at home care which includes;

  • brushing with a power toothbrush for 2 minutes twice daily
  • regular use of string floss to clean between the teeth
  • regular use of interdental brushes to clean between the teeth

To stop the progression of the disease, it is important to see your periodontist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, which usually includes an initial deep cleaning followed by proper at home care and regular supportive periodontal therapy visits with your dental hygienist.

Perio in the Peninsula – Great Guts

Perio in the Peninsula – Great Guts

Presented by: Dr. Uche Odiatu

Your gut flora.  Your resident microbiome.  Your 100 trillion little friends that call YOU home.  Microscopic in size, yet powerful enough to impact your overall vitality.  A recent hot topic in science and research, the gut microbiome has attracted a lot of attention for its ability to make you feel great (or make you not want to leave your home!).  In this full-day session, you’ll gain insights into your resident microbiome and you will learn five ways to support making your body the ideal place for good bacteria to thrive and ultimately, enjoy optimal oral health and improved vitality.

Presented in December 2017 as part of the Perio in the Peninsula Continuing Education lecture series