Until recently most dentists tell you to floss and brush and your gum health will be ok. We even used to do that! But now the relationship between gum health and systemic disease is becoming a scientifically proven fact. Indeed, the bacteria under your gums are the same ones found in the heart vessels, the pancreas and many other organs. It is now thought that they create inflammation that helps destroy the lining of the blood vessels allowing plaques to collect on them and affect the blood flow. The body’s reaction to this inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many other chronic problems.

How do you find out if you have these bacteria? In our office we use a phase microscope to look for the presence of the bacteria. This shows us what the ecosystem of your plaque is – and whether the good or bad bugs are present. We also use a new test called the BANA which tells us if you have 1 or more of the bad bacteria under your gums. Then, combined with other factors we know whether you should be flossing and or water-picking. Also what type of mouthwash (or medicament) would work best for your situation. Of course, cleaning the bacteria or biofilm off the teeth is also a major piece of the healing process.

And, by the way, you can pass the bacteria back and forth to each other through kissing! There are known cases where a human has actually contracted them from kissing their dog!

Dentistry is becoming more and more a “whole body” profession and we strongly believe in this “gum/heart” connection. If you are not one of our patients, please ask your dentist about these new tests and the microscopic study