Periodontal disease has practically become a national epidemic. According to some estimates, more than 85% of the U.S. population over the age of 30 have this disease. Periodontal disease encompasses a broad range of problems from gingivitis, a simple inflammation of the gums, to full periodontitis, which involves loss of bone around the teeth. Periodontal disease has consequences beyond the mouth; recent science has found that there is a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Read Dr. Breiner’s article on Periodontal Disease.
There is ample evidence to suggest that bacteria cause periodontal disease. While brushing and flossing help control the level of bacteria, often these techniques are not enough. At Whole-Body Dentistry, we take a sample of the fluid around the pockets of the teeth and analyze it under a microscope to detect various strains of bacteria. If periodontal disease is found, there are many treatment options ranging from traditional medical approaches to more all-natural choices. Fluid from the pockets surrounding the affected teeth can be cultured and analyzed to identify the specific strain of bacteria, so the most effective course of antibiotics can be selected. Small chips which can be inserted into a periodontal pocket, have recently become available. These chips slowly release small amounts of antibiotic as the chip resorbs.
While the presence of bacteria in the mouth does play a role, the likelihood of a person developing gum disease may actually have much more to do with that individual's general health. We all have bacteria, not only in our mouths, but throughout our bodies. One reason some people develop problems, while others do not, is because that host's resistance is low, creating a prime environment for bacteria to multiply. There are people who have no periodontal problems even though they do not floss or brush regularly. On the other hand, there are people who are religious about their oral hygiene and yet they may develop acute gum disease which eventually deteriorates the bone. Many patients come to us after they have undergone periodontal surgery, spent thousands of dollars, had their teeth cleaned every three months and still have not arrested the disease.
If we find a generalized periodontal problem, we think more in terms of a systemic problem stemming from mercury toxicity, a nutritional deficiency, or an issue related to overall body chemistry. If the problem is just in certain areas, it may stem from interference on a tooth's energetic meridian, a defective restoration or crown margin, a very high electrical current, or a bite problem. Proper bite and alignment of the teeth impacts heavily on the health of the gums. Excessive or improper pressure on the teeth, caused by bite problems, can literally create an environment around the tooth that predisposes it to a bacterial invasion and other assorted problems. Many dentists do not have the specialized training to effectively perform bite adjustments. Dr. Breiner learned to do proper bite adjustments at the world-renowned Pankey Institute. If you are going to have such work done, you should seek out a dentist who has taken post graduate courses in this technique.
Vitamin C and Co-Enzyme Q-10 are also very helpful in fighting periodontal disease. Many of our patients rinse and irrigate with Tooth & Gum Mouth Wash – a natural antiseptic. Recently, we had a patient with a severe periodontal infection that was non-responsive to antibiotic treatment and other natural interventions. We decided to experiment with an alternative approach using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy right here at the Breiner Whole-Body Health Center. We were amazed to find that his periodontal infection cleared up after only ten treatments.