Keeping in touch by blog!

Thank you for spending a few minutes and checking out my blog!

This is a great way for me to keep you informed about what's new at Oakdale Dental.  You'll find stories about todays dentistry and how it can make your life better and healthier, and sometimes some random thoughts I hope you find interesting. 

If you are already one of my patients, let me know what you think.  Any topics you would like to read about or questions you have, just send me an email.There is lots of information already on this site and my other practice website: Oakdale Dental! 

For those of you who I have not had the pleasure to meet yet, I'm glad to have here and feel free to drop by and pay us a visit at Oakdale Dental in beautiful Oakville.

So, come back once in a while...I try to post regularly and have some interesting things for you to check out and maybe a story or two to tell.


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"Great things start with a smile!" Dr Rosenblat

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Wednesday
Jan252012

Gum disease, pyorrhea, periodontitis, a rose by any other name....

So what exactly is gum disease and can I explain it easily enough for anyone to understand?  I think so.

I'm sure you have heard of plaque and tartar.  It's mentioned in all the toothpaste ads.  Plaque is the soft stuff on your teeth that can come off with a toothbrush.  Tartar ( or what we dentists call "calculus"- not the math by the way) is the hard stuff you cannot brush off.  It's found above the gum line where you can see it and below where you cannot.  To remove Tartar...to put it indelicately... it has to be scrapped off the teeth.  We dentists call this "scaling".   Now bacteria live in the plaque and tartar.  They produce among other things toxins that break down the gum tissue attachment to the teeth and cause the bone that holds the teeth to shrink away.  As it becomes more severe, your teeth become loose and you if left untreated the affected teeth will be lost.  That in a nut shell is gum disease.  It is generally painless.  Bleeding swollen red gums are often seen.  Some times you cannot tell you suffer from it to look at your gums.

gum disease © Dr Steven Rosenblat

So how do we dentists know it's there?  We look for it as part of your regular dental examinations.  We measure your gums for the signs of breakdown of the gum and bone support that are the hallmarks of gum disease.  To do this we measure the space below the gum line around each tooth. Imagine a shirt pocket that goes all the way around each tooth, like a moat around a medieval castle.  Nature has designed this "sulcus" around each tooth at about 2-3 mm deep in normal health.  As periodontal disease advances these "pockets" get deeper.  As they get deeper, the teeth lose support and loosen.  When you go to the dentist for a "cleaning" ( scaling or hygiene therapy) the soft plaque and hard tartar that harbor the bacteria is removed or at least disturbed. Again the presence of plaque and tartar irritates and inflames the gums ( called "gingivitis") and destroys the gum attachment (periodontal disease).  Like other diseases of the body this is an inflammatory disease.   If not too advanced, this therapy on a more frequent schedule than normal check ups, may be the only treatment needed.  Studies have shown that a 3 month timeline is the most effective treatment schedule for keeping gum disease at bay.

Once bone loss has occurred, we can stop gum disease but we cannot make the bone grow back.  So dental hygiene visits are best dental insurance you can buy.