At Dr. Mansbridge's Dental Surgeon's office, we are often asked "How does periodontal disease occur"? Periodontal disease is caused by "plaque" which is a sticky film composed of several types of bacteria that continuously form on the teeth.
Bacterial plaque is the great bone destroyer and tooth killer. It is particularly dangerous because of its presence in the gum crevice. If the bacterial plaque is not removed daily, the toxins stay in contact with the surrounding tissue causing inflammation and swelling. The gums begin to bleed.
The old fashioned word pyorrhea means "pus flow". The characteristic pus formation follows the bone infection. Bone destruction follows. The patient is usually not aware of any concerns. As the bone is destroyed (this is a relentless process) the teeth become loose and may start shifting.
It is actually possible for periodontal disease to destroy an entire mouth and have no decay present in that mouth!
In your case, we are dealing with Rapidly Advancing Periodontitis or Juvenile Periodontitis which in some ways is different from the more common forms of gum disease which is usually found in adults over the age of 35. Rapidly Advancing Periodontitis and Juvenile Periodontitis (or Early Onset Periodontitis) characteristically begin at a younger age. Often rather than effecting all teeth, specific teeth may become severely diseased while others appear to be very healthy. Patients often have aggressive periodontitis in spite of good oral hygiene. This is why, again, we recommend you visit us twice a year.
Recent experiments have shown that the cause is a unique combination of special types of bacteria infecting the gums and the relative inability of your body's immune system to fight off these bacteria. It appears that this weakness in your immune system is related only to this particular form of gum disease. Our treatment focuses on treating the causative bacteria (as the immune-deficiency cannot be currently treated).
Depending on the degree of the disease, juvenile periodontal disease treatment can be successful in controlling these problems and preventing them from spreading to other teeth. In addition to our conventional periodontal treatment, an antibiotic such as Tetracycline may be prescribed for a short period of time. Recent experiments have shown that this treatment combination is the most effective way of controlling this form of gum disease.
IMPORTANT: This form of gum disease is familial, which is to say that it runs in the family and is inherited. It is extremely important that all brothers and sisters be checked for signs of this disease starting as early as 7 years of age.
Our dental team provides optimum family dentistry for residents in Hamilton and Stoney Creek. We are located in Stoney Creek on the corner of Centennial Parkway and Queenston Road in Gulliver's Square (across from Eastgate Square), making it easy for your teen to find our friendly office. There is plenty of convenient free parking in the plaza, or we are easily accessible by the HSR If your child is relying on the city bus to get to our dental office, they have several options no matter where you live in Hamilton. The King Street Bus which stretches from McMaster University to Eastgate Mall, will bring you close by. As well Route 55, Route 56 or Route 58 which service the Stoney Creek and Centennial areas of Hamilton are other routes to consider when travelling to us.
In the interest of better periodontal health.
Dr. Bruce Mansbridge