Allan L. Link DMD

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Gum Disease

Gum Disease Overview

Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is progressive, inflammatory disease affecting the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Gum disease starts as gingivitis, when plaque is left to accumulate in spaces between teeth. Harmful bacteria thrive on plaque, creating destructive toxins that result in infection. Untreated, it leads to deterioration of the jawbone and loss of teeth.

The implications of gum disease go well beyond bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss. Periodontitis is linked to diabetes, especially Type 2 Adult Onset. Simply put, gum disease makes diabetes worse by elevating glucose levels. Hereby, diabetes makes gum disease worse. Gum disease also increases risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious systemic illnesses. While the causal link is not yet clear, the same bacteria in diseased pockets has been found in brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients. It isn't just your teeth involved – it's your life.

This condition is widespread and becoming more prevalent. Most dentists simply recommend scaling and root planing – a surgical procedure to remove plaque and diseased tissue. Dr. Allan Link takes a broader approach with laser dentistry and advanced therapy for gum disease.

This gum disease fighting arsenal includes:

  • Laser Softcare™ - This cutting-edge, painless technology from Lares Research replaces conventional, invasive gum surgery without need for anesthetic, scalpel, or sutures. Laser Softcare™ makes surgery a last resort.
  • Arrestin - Over the course of 90 days, this time-release, localized, low-dose antibiotic paste applied to the gums treats gum disease without having to remember to take pills or causing your body to build resistance to antibiotics.
  • Homeopathic Remedies - Mouth rinses and pastes are beneficial for all gum disease patients; particularly those fighting cancer. They allow patients with compromised immune systems to continue life-saving chemotherapy and radiation treatments with less risk of developing mouth sores.
  • Perio Protect Trays - These trays are worn for five to ten minutes, several times each day. Perio Protect also assists seniors who cannot perform good oral hygiene. It doesn't replace brushing and flossing, but helps tremendously.

According to the Surgeon General, gum disease definitely needs attention in this country. TheDentaLink team provides that gentle attention at our Ballwin and South County offices. 

Periodontal Treatment

When dentists tell patients to take good care of their smiles, it is not just because of cavities. Poor oral health care can also lead to the development of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a condition that cannot be cured, only controlled.

Dr. Allan Link and the team of TheDentaLink, LLC of Ballwin and Saint Louis educate patients on how to care for their smiles to ensure proper health and wellness. When the smile is cared for, it will remain healthy. This includes brushing and flossing after every meal. Patients are urged to book an appointment with their dentist at least twice a year for an examination, cleaning, and x-rays if needed. However, without a professional monitoring dental health, patients are at risk for developing gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that resides in the smile and causes an infection. The infection not only covers the mouth, but can carry through the bloodstream and result in problems elsewhere in the body. This is due to the oral systemic connection. Patients with periodontal disease present in the smile may also be at risk for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and increased risk of strokes. This is why the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease are so important.

Treatment for periodontal disease varies depending on the stage of the condition. The earlier stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a simple infection that can be improved with a thorough cleaning by Dr. Allan Link. If left to progress further, patients need extensive treatment such as scaling and root planing. This is a procedure to remove bacteria from all surfaces of the teeth, including the roots. It can be avoided with proper care of the smile. Some patients with the later stages of periodontal disease may also take oral antibiotics to address the infection of the mouth.

If you reside in the area of Ballwin or Saint Louis, Missouri and you are seeking the care and attention necessary to treat conditions such as periodontal disease, contact TheDentaLink, LLC today to book an appointment with Dr. Allan Link and the other professionals who work at our state-of-the-art dental practice.

Gum Treatment

Gum disease is an infection of the smile that may be avoided with proper care and attention. This condition is caused by bacteria in the mouth that can carry elsewhere to the body through the bloodstream. This is due to the "oral systemic connection." The oral systemic connection links the health of the smile to the health of the body. Infection in the mouth contributes to the development of inflammation elsewhere in the body and causes an increased risk for strokes, heart disease, and even diabetes. It is important to diagnose gum disease early for faster, more effective treatment.

Treatment for gum disease varies. The earliest stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. Some patients complain of persistent bad breath that does not go away even with regular care. This may indicate bacteria in the mouth that may be contributing to the condition. Bacteria are often reduced with antibiotics, which can kill the infection and slowly bring the smile back to health. Our dental team monitors the condition with regular appointments to ensure improvements after treatment begins.

Early diagnosis is essential. Treatment in the earliest stage includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gum tissues. If the condition has been allowed to progress further into periodontitis, patients may require a more extensive procedure such as scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing removes bacteria, plaque, and tartar from all surfaces of the teeth including the roots. The procedure also includes the direct application of antibiotics to eliminate the infection at the source.

Dr. Allan Link and the team of TheDentaLink, LLC encourage patients to come into the practice for an assessment of their condition as soon as they notice the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. Early intervention is important to combat the condition and keep it controlled over many years. Contact our practice if you are seeking a family-friendly dental practice in the areas of Ballwin and Saint Louis. 

Gingivitis Treatment

Gingivitis is a condition that may develop due to poor oral health and wellness. Dr. Allan Link and the team at TheDentaLink, LLC educate patients on proper care to help reduce the risk of developing this oral infection. Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. If left undiagnosed and untreated, patients are at risk for periodontitis—a condition that cannot be cured but only controlled with regular dental visits and proper home health care.

Catching periodontal disease at the earliest stage is essential for reversing the damage done. Gingivitis can be addressed with a thorough cleaning right in the dental office. This cleaning removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth and gums. This restores the health of the smile and reduces the chance of the condition advancing into periodontitis.

However, treatment of gingivitis does not mean patients are "free and clear" from periodontal disease. Patients are educated on how to care for their smiles and keep the condition controlled. This includes brushing and flossing after each meal and regular appointments at the dental office. By doing this, patients reduce their risk of developing periodontal disease and maintain healthier smiles for life.

Another concern with periodontal disease is the oral systemic connection. Studies continue to show that bacteria in the smile can carry through the bloodstream and result in the development of infection elsewhere. The infections caused by these same bacteria can cause an increased risk for strokes, diabetes, and heart disease. Reducing the infection in the smile reduces the risk of development of these medical conditions known to have a negative impact on the entire body.

Patients located in the areas of Ballwin or Saint Louis are welcome to book an appointment with Dr. Allan Link and his team at TheDentaLink, LLC to learn about the advantages of a beautiful, healthy smile. Periodontal disease and cavities are concerns that develop when patients do not properly care for their teeth and gums. Contact us today to schedule a consultation visit and discuss the benefits of proper oral health habits for a lifetime of beautiful smiles!