Startling New Facts About
Do you have periodontal (gum) disease?
The symptoms of periodontal disease unlike most diseases is rarely felt. You can be in the
process of loosing all your teeth and not even know it.
But what causes periodontal disease? Did you say plaque? If so, you are atleast
partially correct. Through recent research conducted in Philadelphia and Boston, it has
been discovered that many different types of bacteria (including NON-PLAQUE) bacteria can
cause the loss of teeth. These NON-PLAQUE bacteria, unlike plaque bacteria, are usually
tissue-invasive (they live INSIDE the gum tissue itself). What does this mean? It means
that flossing, brushing and frequent cleanings cannot always assure that you will have
your teeth for the rest of your life.
How do we get rid of these NON-plaque bacteria? First, we take a
BACTERIAL CULTURE of the pockets to find out exactly what bacteria are causing the
periodontal infection. Then antibiotics are used to kill them. Antibiotics alone, however,
do NOT eliminate the need for conventional periodontal therapy (for example: scaling and
root planing or periodontal surgery).If irreversible bone damage has already been done,
the resulting pockets still MUST be eliminated to help prevent the return of these
If you have already had conventional periodontal therapy,
(especially surgery) and the SURGERY HAS FAILED, a bacterial culture can often reveal the
presence of a bad bug; that was not killed by the surgery. Thus, the disease will again
resume post- surgically and continue to cause more bone loss and the reoccurence of
pocketing; you will soon be right back where you started from.
How do we get these so-called bad bugs. A recent article in U.S.
News and World Today (November 1993) revealed that we can catch them from each other (for
example, KISSING). If you have well water that is bad, the Enteric bacteria (E. coli is
one type) can enter your mouth and gum tissue through drinking water and cause havoc
(severe bone breakdown) in a very short period of time. Many Third World countries
routinely have this bacteria in their public drinking water.If you have dental implants,
they can cause them to fail within a year (I have seen them fail in as little as two
months). The people who died from eating bad food at Jack-In-The-Box restaurant in Seattle
had the E.Coli bacteria. If YOU CAN DIE FROM THESE BACTERIA, you can understand how much
damage it can do to your periodontal (bone) tissues that hold your teeth in your jaw.
If you have these bad bugs, can you sometimes ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR
PERIODONTAL SURGERY? If you catch them early enough, yes.
I find that their destruction can atleast eliminate the need for
more complex procedures, such as bone grafts or reduce the amount of surgical procedures
required. Also, in several instances I have been able to save the teeth of some patients
who were about to have ALL their teeth extracted. Nothing is guaranteed and each person
reacts differently to even the same bacteria; this is referred to as RESISTANCE (similar
to why some people get colds more than others in the Winter).
Just what is a bacterial culture? It consists of two tests,
one being an actual culture where the bacteria taken from the periodontal pocket is grown
in a Petri dish. It takes up to two weeks for some of them to grow. Then they are
identified by their color and shape with the naked eye. In addition, a DNA
probe is taken; this is very accurate and can identify some of the bacteria by their
DNA characteristics, similar to how O.J.Simpson's blood was identified. It is very
accurate esp. since LIVING bacteria are not needed.
In summary, if you have serious periodontal problems that don't seem
to be getting better or have reoccurred, maybe it would be helpful to take a bacterial
culture to find out just what type of bacteria is present. Perhaps it is a NON-PLAQUE
bacteria that can easily be eliminated with antibiotics. Perhaps something so easy and
painless as a bacterial culture can not only save you much money and aggravation, IT CAN
SAVE YOU YOUR TEETH!