We have discussed in previous blogs, the effects of untreated periodontal inflammation on the body as a whole. We now know that the oral cavity cannot be separated from the rest of the patient.This understanding is beginning to cause a change in our evaluation and treatment of periodontal patients. This is known as a paradigm shift, and has far reaching effects on the predictability and success of periodontal therapy. Dentists have always looked at the patient visually, probed the pockets in the gums around the teeth, looked at x-rays, and generally planned the same treatment approach for everyone. We know that all infections are not
caused by the same issues in every patient, because research has shown us that the dental plaque (biofilm) is not the same in every patient. We now can determine the causation of the disease by analyzing the specific bacteria (pathogens) that are present, and then target our treatment more specifically for each patient. We can also monitor by new sophisticated techniques, the progress our patients are making, and know with more certainty when we have
treated to a successful endpoint. The emphasis on more specific diagnostic procedures is critically important in determining risk. The determination of prognosis and risk helps the dentist make much more effective treatment plans, all to the benefit of the patient. As mentioned
previously, the patients who are dealing with inflammatory related conditions, most
especially chronic heart disease and diabetes benefit enormously by this BIOLOGIC approach to understanding and trating their periodontal infection.