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Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent disease’s that affects a large number of people of a variety of ages, and many of the sufferers are unaware of it. Periodontal disease does not just mean periodontitis, but also includes gingivitis.
Symptoms of periodontal disease can include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red swollen gums
- Tender and/or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
In the past periodontal disease was treated like an infectious disease and treatment included therapeutic measures in order to reduce the microbial burden in the mouth. This was done by mechanical debridement, antimicrobials, and short-term antibiotics. This method did help improve the disease, but the results weren’t long lasting. More recent studies have been done to determine that periodontal disease is more of an inflammatory disease and should be treated like one and in return it may help with other chronic inflammatory disease.
A chronic inflammatory response, like that found in periodontal disease, has a negative effect on the body since the body doesn’t have time to rest and heal, making it turn on itself. This is when we get the bone loss that causes receding gums and loose teeth that is common with periodontitis. In response to this new data a drug called Periostat has been introduced. The drug helps stop the progression of periodontitis when used in conjunction with scaling and root planning. Periostat is a Collagenase Inhibitor, which is the enzyme that breaks down collagen and is produced during an inflammatory response. Collagen is found in the alveolar bone of the jaw and it is the breakdown of collagen that negatively affects the body and contributes to the other diseases associated with periodontitis like, coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, and arthritis.
Even though science has come a long way in helping to eradicate periodontal disease the best method in dealing with it is to not let your oral health get to that point in the first place. Proper home oral health care and regular Dental Hygiene visits will help keep your mouth and your body healthy.