The following is an excerpt from TLC4Gums founder Dr Gordon Wilson’s new book, “The Secret Techniques to Eliminating Gum Disease without Surgery”.
In 1995, I began my professional career in a small family practice in North Phoenix. I quickly learned that gingivitis and periodontitis were much more prevalent than I had imagined they would be. Research has shown that over 80% of adult Americans aged 30 and above have either gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gingival tissues (gums), characterized by redness, swelling and bleeding. It’s the condition that I had when I was able to perform my “tongue-full ‘o blood” trick in college, and again during the war.
Gingivitis is the first stage of “gum disease”, and it’s the only stage that is 100% reversible, because there has been no bone loss. I was taught in dental school that treating this condition is as simple as: A) remove the tartar, B) prevent the tartar from re-forming. That’s it!
The dental professional’s job is to remove the tartar. Your job is to prevent it from re-forming. Coincidentally, your job is way more difficult, and your job is far more important than the dental professional’s job.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is an inflammation and infection of the bone, connective tissue and gum surrounding and supporting the teeth. It’s characterized by redness and swelling in addition to bleeding, the possible presence of pus and the gradual loss of bone and the tissues that support the teeth. You’ve probably heard that once bone is lost, it can never grow back. This is what I was taught in dental school, and it’s simply not true. Over the years, I have become very adept at regenerating bone that has been lost due to periodontitis.
Gingivitis is more commonly known among the general population than periodontitis, so many people think that gingivitis is worse than periodontitis. The opposite is true. Periodontitis is actually worse than gingivitis.
When I first began practicing dentistry, I did exactly what I was taught to do in dental school. Unfortunately, it’s the same regimen that is still being taught in dental schools today. This inevitably meant that they would require surgical pocket reduction. This arduous surgical procedure can be performed by a general dentist, but usually the general dentist may choose to refer the patient to a gum specialist called a periodontist.
This led to angry patients, and I don’t blame them. I would have been angry too! My patients wanted to know why they still had pocketing and bleeding after they had just spent so much money to have this condition treated with scaling and root planing. After all, I told them that they needed this treatment. They heeded my advice, yet they still had the condition after we had treated it for them.
I lost so many patients during my first few years of practice. Some patients would leave my practice out of anger because their gums were still infected with periodontitis after spending so much money on scaling and root planing. They thought that treating periodontitis was like treating a cavity… once it’s been treated, the problem’s over. They didn’t realize just how important their homecare is, and I didn’t realize how ineffective flossing is.
To book a consultation at Arizona Periodontal Laser or to get a copy of the book, contact us today.