Periodontal Therapy

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Did you know that 1 out of every 4 people who have periodontal disease will suffer a heart attack or stroke? Scary stuff, right? Well, it doesn't have to be.

Dr. Ross is one of the leading experts in the fields of Periodontics and Dental Implantology!

Dr. Ross's mission is to place you on a regular program to monitor the overall health of your mouth

How Often Do I Need to See My Dentist or Periodontist?

The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that periodontal patients report to their dentist or periodontist every three months for cleanings or periodontal maintenance. Periodontal patients are people that have been diagnosed with periodontal disease (those with 5mm periodontal pockets or greater), have previously been treated for periodontal disease, or have proven to be susceptible to periodontal disease.

Once you fall into one of these three categories, you are best served with four cleanings per year for the rest of your life!

The placement of dental implants does not change this regimen. Dental implants can also suffer from periodontal disease if plaque gathers under the gum tissue. This form of periodontal disease is called peri-implantitis. A periodontal patient benefits when the four annual cleanings are alternated between their dentist and periodontist, two cleanings per year in each respective office.

If you have any signs of periodontal disease, call Dr. Ross!

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Periodontal disease is a localized or generalized infection bone around our teeth. This differs from gingivitis which is solely restricted to the gingiva or gum tissue. Patients get the periodontal infection when plaque gathers around their teeth. If this plaque is not removed by brushing & dental floss it can creep below the gum-line. If not removed from underneath the gingiva (by flossing, WaterPik, a professional cleaning, etc.) the plaque calcifies or hardens. This material is then called calculus or tartar. Calculus cannot be removed with flossing and requires a dental cleaning. If left on the root surfaces the calculus initiates a response that includes bone resorption. Bone loss is indicating by periodontal pocketing. This periodontal disease can often times be prevented with proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and routine trips to the dentist for cleanings. Ongoing research also indicates a clear link to a patient's susceptibility, immune response and genetic links in patients.

Many systemic conditions can contribute to the susceptibility and progression of a periodontal infection. Cigarette smoking is the most common situation resulting in accelerated bone loss. The number of years a patient smokes is the most telling factor. Other conditions such as Diabetes are also critical in the patient's periodontal health! Call Dr. Ross today at the Sarasota Periodontal Associates Institute to inquire about your periodontal health and learn about treatment options to save your teeth.

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In most cases the prevention of periodontal disease is ensured by two important factors. First a regular routine of visiting your dentist for professional cleanings is required. The American Academy of Periodontology states that 4 cleanings per year, or every 3 months, is recommended for prevention. This is because of a patient's inability to clean at the necessary depths underneath the gum. Flossing has limited effectiveness at depths over 3mm. unfortunately, even with the most diligent dental home-care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Genetic susceptibility, immune responses, & inflammatory pathways all play a role in the bone resorption process of periodontal disease. There are also systemic factors that play a role in the progression of periodontal disease and the resultant infection and tooth loss: Diabetes, the length of time a patient has been a smoker, stress, etc.

In addition nutrition can play a large role in your periodontal health. Please visit the Nutrition section on the Sarasota Periodontal Associates website to learn more about the connection between periodontal disease and nutrition. Dr. Ross' wife Evelyn is available for nutrition counseling in Sarasota, FL and can be easily reached at

Contact Evelyn today to get on the road to periodontal health as it relates to your nutritional needs!


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Periodontal Disease Increases The Risk For Heart Attack and Fatal Stroke
Twenty percent (1/5) patients with severe periodontal disease are at risk to suffer a heart attack or fatal stroke. A 6000 person study has confirmed that periodontal disease is associated with early signs of heart disease. Patients with moderate or severe periodontal disease have a higher chance of thickened carotid artery walls than those with no disease. Certain bacteria live in the plaques that thicken the arterial walls. Patients with severe periodontal disease had oral bacteria in over 40% of arterial plaques.

Periodontal Disease Causes PreTerm Low Birth Weight Babies
In a 2004 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Drs. Offenbacher and Beck found female pregnant patients with periodontal disease are 5 times more likely to give birth to a pre-term low birth weight baby. Other studies have confirmed that one out of five babies given birth to mothers with periodontal disease suffer from pre-term low birth weight.

Periodontal Disease May Influence the Course of Diabetes Mellitus
In the Compendium (2000) Dr. Louis Rose reported a review of research on the link between periodontal disease and diabetes. A clear relationship has long been established between diabetes and periodontal attachment loss. Attachment loss, and ultimately tooth loss, is more prevalent in diabetics with periodontal disease. Evidence now suggests that periodontal infections in individuals with diabetes have an adverse effect on glycemic control. In addition there is a significantly higher incidence of proteinuria and macrovascular complications in diabetics with severe periodontal disease. These macrovascular complications include stroke, transient ischemic attack, angina, MI, and heart failure).

Retained Third Molars Enhance Chance of Periodontal Disease
In a study by Elter, et al., the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey determined that the presence of visible third molars resulted in a 1.3 times greater chance in having gingival bleeding and two times greater the chance for periodontal probing depths greater than 5 mm on the adjacent second molar. There is also an increased risk of periodontal defects in the anterior region with retained third molars. The mandible is more prevalent than the maxilla. In all of these instances smoking was found to double the patient’s risk of periodontal infections.

Osteoporosis May Increase Risk of Periodontal Loss
A study reported in the Alpha Omega Journal found there might be a link between bone density reduction and tooth loss from periodontal disease. here appears to be link between bone mineral density and clinical attachment loss in postmenopausal white and Asian populations. his information coupled with previous studies connecting the number of teeth in the jaw and bone density seems to associate these two factors.

Chronic Inflammation Linked To Severe Periodontal Disease
Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) are higher in people with severe periodontal disease. CRP is produced in the body when inflammation is present and is a good predictor of impending heart attacks. Periodontal diseases are chronic and low grade in a majority of cases, which leaves the heart vulnerable.

Bacterial Plaque Can Increase Risk Of Pneumonia
Dental plaque pathogens linked with pneumonia in the elderly: A study from the State University of New York at Buffalo has found that good oral health may help protect the elderly from contracting pneumonia. They have shown that dental plaque is a reservoir of respiratory pathogens that can cause pneumonia of elderly institutionalized patients. Twenty-eight out of forty nine patients in this study were found to have respiratory pathogens in their dental plaque samples. This study is suggesting a link between the burden of dental disease and the incidence of respiratory events.

Link Established Between Periodontal Diseases and Respiratory Diseases
An increase in the bacterial burden may play a role in exacerbation or progression on COPD. An improvement in oral hygiene and treating periodontal disease could decrease oropharyngeal colonization by pathogenic bacteria. This reduction could reduce death from serious respiratory infections. (Dentistry Today, August 2003).

Alcohol Abuse Results In A Higher Incidence Of Periodontal Disease and Potentially Precancerous Lesions
One third of the patients in this study were at risk for a precancerous lesion or periodontal disease, which the researchers attribute to alcohol consumption. 82% of the patients had a severe gingival inflammation. This study was co-authored by Dr. Sebastian Ciancio of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Link Between Obesity and Periodontal Disease Found
The prevalence of periodontal disease among young adults, ages 18-34, was 76% higher than that among normal weight young adults. There was also an association found between underweight young adults and a decreased prevalence of periodontal disease. Reasons given for the association between obesity and periodontal disease included: less than the recommended dietary allowance for calcium and vitamin C, and chronic stress. These factors proved more prevalent in this particular age group. (Case Western Reserve, 2003 as reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association).

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Kenneth E. Ross, DMD, MSD - Periodontics & Implantology - 1830 South Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239 • 941.366.6161
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