Don’t Let Periodontal Disease Happen to You!

We sat down and talked with Dr. Jennifer Eitutis from the Bittner Family Dental Group in San Jose, California about Periodontal disease.

Q:  What actually causes Periodontal disease?

A:  There are many factors influencing Periodontal disease, they include bacteria in your mouth, your family history, systemic diseases and even medications that affect the gum tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place.  Good news is this is when caught early it’s very treatable with almost no damage to your gums or teeth.

Q:  What are signs of Periodontal disease?

A:  The signs of periodontal disease are red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums, pus formation between teeth and gums, gums receding from the teeth, changes in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth and bad breath.  If you are at risk of or have signs of Periodontal disease, we will identify them at your cleanings.

Q:  As a dentist you’ll probably hate this question, but what happens if I ignore the signs of Periodontal disease and it progresses?

A:  Yes, I’m not a fan of the question, particularly because If left untreated your gum tissue and bone will be effected and most likely will lead to extensive bone and tooth loss.  Once the bone has been lost it will not grow back.  If we do catch this early enough and you are diligent with your care you should be able to keep your teeth for many years, however, there is no guarantee once you get this far along.

Q:  How do you treat Periodontal disease?

A:  Each case is different, so first we need to do a full exam with x-rays.  Typically, we will place antibiotics directly in the affected area to help stop progression and repair the damage.  Also effective is a soft tissue laser treatment which we’ve found allows for quick healing and a lasting recovery.

Periodontal disease is not pretty, it’s anything but, however, it is very manageable when treated professionally and with the diligent home care.  If you have any questions or feel you are at risk of Periodontal disease, please call our office for a consultation, we can help.

What’s the Best Way to Keep All of My Teeth?

We sat down and talked with Dr. Jennifer Eitutis from the Bittner Family Dental Group in San Jose, California about what it takes to keep all of your teeth.  In other words, Preventative Dentistry.

Q: What’s the best way to keep all of my teeth?

A:  That’s easy, practice basic oral hygiene, brush your teeth, use mouthwash and floss twice a day coupled with a minimum of twice a year dental exams, x-rays and cleanings.  Participating in preventative dentistry is the best way to minimize oral problems and the potentially associated medical conditions that stem from poor oral hygiene. 

Q:  I do like you, but If I brush and floss my teeth like crazy, can I avoid my check-ups?

A:  Even with diligent home care, regular dental check-ups are required to ensure no problem goes unnoticed.  These problems are not just limited to stained teeth, cavities, gum infections and halitosis, the most common dental problems.  The American Dental Hygienists Association says 75% of American have some form of Periodontal disease which only a dentist can treat.

Q:  How often do I need to come in for check-ups?

A:  Historically, every 6 months a regular visit to the dentist was recommended.  For most people, we now recommend a regular visit every 4 months to stay in optimal oral health.  We do have some patients who come more frequently and some who come every six months, it all depends on you, your lifestyle, your medical history, etc.

Q:  What more could I do to “bump-up” my home care?

A:  Improving your lifestyle choices, such as avoiding sugar, alcohol, smoking, etc. is a great first step, but we all know it’s easier said than done.  One way proven way we’ve found that truly works is to upgrade to a water pick or electric toothbrush, they really do work.

We love working with our patients to proactively manage their oral health.  Please give us a call and we will schedule an appointment and develop an oral game plan that is right for you.  We are here to help.