Many people know the old saying, “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” but do you know that the mouth is the window to the body? It’s true. Your mouth can tell your dentist a whole lot about your overall health. Dr. Erpenbach is a member of the American Academy of Oral-Systemic Health and is a firm believer that the health of the mouth can impact the rest of the patient.
The presence of gum disease is often a red flag for dentists. Not only because it is evidence that something is wrong in the mouth, but because it is a contributor to heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and even low birth weight and preterm births. Gum disease is caused by the presence of disease-causing bacteria, and mouths are full of bacteria. These disease-causing bacteria, which flourish in dental plaque, increase inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to illness or infection.
Dr. Erpenbach follows a health care protocol that evidence of gum disease is an early warning sign of a potentially life-threatening health condition. In fact, 65 percent of heart attack patients have a form of gum disease.
To treat patients and effectively and prevent serious health incidents from occurring, Dr. Erpenbach does a thorough examination of the patient, which includes evaluating the gums. During the gum evaluation, the depths of the gum pockets are measured. Healthy gums have pockets that average 2 to 3 millimeters in depth. Anything over this depth indicates gum disease. Deep pockets allow bacteria to colonize, grow, and cause damage to the surrounding tissue. If a patient is found with gum disease, Dr. Erpenbach takes a sample of the bacteria and cultures it in order to identify what bacteria is behind the condition. Once the cause of the infection is identified, it can effectively be treated with the right antibiotics.
Other treatments for gum disease include below the gum line scaling and root planning procedures. Dr. Erpenbach also uses ozone, a powerful bacteria neutralizer, to get patients gums bacteria free and back to healthy.
The signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, sore and swollen gums, and persistent bad breath.
If you’re exhibiting the signs of gum disease, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Erpenbach today at 1.865-584-8630 today.