Effective treatment using consistent oral hygiene

Parodontology has to do with the science of the complete structure that holds the teeth. This consists of the gums and the tooth bearing jaw bones. A disease of the periodontium can lead to tooth loss. An individualized risk analysis, diagnosis, therapy, determination of an appropriate prophylaxis program and follow up can work long term and effectively against tooth loss.

Causes, Results and Symptoms

As a result of a bacterial infection, the structures which hold a tooth in its place in the jawbone become chronically inflamed. Slowly advancing gingival pockets are formed: one refers to this as parodontitis (parodontose or disease of the periodontium). Approximately 25 percent of all people over 35 suffer from this condition, most of whom are unaware of it.

Because no pain is present, this disease often remains unnoticed for years or even for decades. Bleeding gums, exposed tooth necks (teeth are temperature sensitive and appear optically longer), halitosis, increased tooth movement and/or tooth loss can be indications of parodontitis.

Furthermore, bacteria find their way into the bloodstream. Scientific studies show that the risk of a stroke rises dramatically--by as much as a factor of 3, if parodontitis is present.
The risk of a heart attack is in fact 17 percent higher in comparison to an otherwise healthy person. Diabetes, rheumatism, various respiratory diseases or miscarriages can also be the result of such a bacterial affliction. Smokers are at even more risk of a heart attack, because the inhaled chemical additives cause less circulation of the blood in the oral tissues, and thus negatively affect the body’s immune system. The risk is approximately six times as great with a daily consumption of one and a half packs of cigarettes.

Treatment, Therapy and Preventive Care

The therapy takes place through instruction as well as through improvement of oral hygiene and the complete removal of all hard and soft plaque above and below the gums. This means on the one hand that the bacterial flora is positively influenced and on the other hand that the immune system has less stress. The objectionable gingival pockets are reduced and stabilized in the course of this therapy.

In the case of strongly advanced parodontitis, damaged teeth may be treated using special surgical methods. “Regenerative Periodontal Surgery” offers the possibility of rebuilding and replacing lost bone mass with special bone substitutes.

Teeth that are already loose because of degenerative bone material can even, depending on the diagnosis, be retained for the long term.

Very few dentists in Switzerland are specialized in parodontology. Dr. Michael Zehm has been working in this area of dental medicine since 2005 and attained his special expertise in the course of an extra degree which he finished alongside his daily work in the practice.