What to Know About Plaque and Oral Health Care
It’s common knowledge among dentists that plaque is considered a biofilm; in other words, a conglomeration of over 500 kinds of bacteria plus protozoa and fungi that all combines with elements of food and drink in a person’s mouth. This nasty combination is basically a self-sustaining, individual ecosystem. Plaque buildup close to the gum line is particularly concerning as it wounds the gums and thus begins periodontal disease (disease of the gums).
However, many dentists are unaware that there is much to learn about biofilm colonies and what this means for dentistry; the treatment of these colonies needs to be specialized, multidisciplinary, and also constant. This is information that every dentist in Salt Lake City should study and consider.
Individualized Care and Biofilm Communities
In the past, treatment of bacterial infections, including periodontal disease, looked at specific cultures of bacteria individually and then treating those through antibiotics. However, this form of treatment failed to account for the fact that a single bacteria, floating freely, can cause specific illnesses, although they rarely lead to wounds or chronic infections. However, bacteria that form together to create protective biofilms are what causes gum disease, tooth decay and a variety of persistent diseases. Buildup of plaque in the mouth is just one example of biofilm that damages parts of the mouth and precipitates gum disease.
General antibiotics as treatment for gum disease is not only a less effective form of treatment, but an also negatively effect a person’s health as the bacteria then grows stronger in resistance to the antibiotics. The answer instead is to solve the problem with personalized treatment. Each and every type of biofilm is comprised of a unique make up of materials and bacteria, so periodontitis cases require a unique treatment plan to remove this plaque and prevent future buildup from recurring. The same is true for infections and wounds caused by plaque, one approach will not serve well for all.
Multidisciplinarity and Periodontal Disease
All 500 strands of bacteria form together to create a strong defense that protects the colony. As each type of bacteria contains a protection all its own, as they join together it becomes more and more difficult to eliminate them. What dentists should learn from the knowledge of this defensive power owned by colony plaque, is that it’s time for some change in oral and medical care. Specialized dentists ought to work with other physicians and medical experts to explore best practices for treating gum disease and even further to understand how to prevent it altogether. Each branch of medical and dental care has knowledge of treating infection; if this knowledge were shared, better strategies could be implemented. As a dentist in Salt Lake City, you can implement this practice of information sharing to improve your practice significantly.
Changing Treatment and Building Community
A specialized wound care researcher named Dr. Randy Wolcott learned that a lot of patients who received treatment for infection ultimately relapsed. Although therapies such as antibiotics had removed the initial infection, the wounded tissue may not have been healed and future relapse of infection was not protected against. As we consider the future of periodontal treatment, we need to think about not just removing bacteria and plaque but also healing the tissue and fortifying the gums and teeth against recontamination.
Many people who have struggled with gum disease tend to have numerous recurring infections requiring further dental and/or medical treatment. In today’s world, the dental industry is shifting its focus onto preventive dental care. It follows that line of thinking to utilize treatments that prevent periodontal disease. There are a number of treatments that help protect a person from future infection, they include; liquid medication applied with dental trays at home, traditional root planing, and ozone therapy (which has been known to optimize tissue healing and prevent relapse of infection).
With these new break throughs, though they may come from a source that’s surprising, will benefit all dental practices and health concerns. Now is the time to take into consideration treatment needs that are unique, sharing knowledge between dental and medical disciplines, and finally, continual prevention care as we treat patients.