What Is Active Therapy?
Active Therapy is recommended when there is infection present in the gums. It consists of a series of cleanings over a short period of time, (usually bi weekly) where your hygienist will help you rehabilitate your gum tissue and bring you back to optimum health. At these visits, your gums are irrigated thoroughly with water, or Herbal Tonic to help keep the bacteria levels low so the tissue can have a chance to heal. Once the tissues have healed, we maintain at that level of health from then on.
What Causes The Gum Infection?
When we eat, food and bacteria get trapped in the space between your teeth and gums. If these bacteria are left undisturbed, they can multiply and cause infection. Your immune system is designed to deliver certain cells to areas of your body that feel threatened by bacteria. It will send blood to the sites to try to fight the bacteria to protect your body. The gums will pull away from the teeth, having an even deeper space created which will invite more bacteria to enter. If the bacteria are left undisturbed at this point, it can start to invade on the bone, which is the support for our teeth. Bone loss can then start to occur, as the bacteria begin to destruct, which is not reversible. This will lead to mobile teeth and advanced stages of gum disease.
Why Is This So Important To My Health?
More studies show that there is a strong link to your overall health and your oral health. The mouth is the largest portal to your body, so it's critical to keep the bacteria out.
When our immune system is compromised from fighting a specific area of the body (such as the mouth), it can affect how it fights any other issues that arise elsewhere in the body. Systemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are greatly affected by the bacterial load we carry in our mouths.
The gums as we know, are not supposed to bleed. If we have bleeding all of a sudden because of bacterial invasion, we open up our circulation system to these oral bacteria. The bacteria then circulates our body as the circulation system travels throughout our whole body- particularly the heart- which is one of the most important organs we have.
What Can I Expect?
Each time you come in to Dr. Gray's for your preventive visits, your Dental Hygienist will advise you on any recommendations for healthier gums. If you consistently have bleeding, loose gums, your Dental Hygienist and Dr. Gray may then recommend that you have Active Therapy to help get your mouth back to health. If your mouth is in a chronically infected state, it is apparent that the bacterial load is too much for your immune system to handle and therefore cannot fight it.
Your Dental Hygienist will advise you to use a rinse twice daily and give you other instructions as you proceed throughout your treatments to help stimulate the gums to health.
Therapy usually lasts between 2 and 4 visits and largely depends on your home care as well as the therapy visits.
The goal of Active Therapy is to stop the infection (bleeding), and to help the gums heal and tighten up around the teeth to reduce that space.
For areas that are unresponsive, your Dental Hygienist may recommend an antibiotic called Arestin to be placed into the gum in that area to leave in for 1 month.
If you have questions about Active Therapy, ask your Dental Hygienist or Dr. Gray when you come in to see us.
Endocartitis is a potentially fatal condition in which the heart valves become swollen. Bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is the primary cause of endocartitis, and this is the same bacteria that cause tooth decay. Our immune system generally knocks out the bacteria, but if not, it can invade the heart in mere seconds. The bacteria prefer to attach to heart valves, which initiates swelling – and endocartitis.
More questions? -
Please contact our Newmarket Dentist about this latex free treatment. We would be happy to help!