Dentistry is the known evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the soft and hard tissues of the jaw (mandible), the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent.
An Interview with Dr. Henry L. Lazarus on Periodontal Disease
Dr. Henry L. Lazarus is a dentist and has answered some common questions Bizymoms visitors have about Periodontal Disease.
Q. What Causes Tooth Loss?
A. Teeth are constantly exposed to harsh conditions and it is amazing they hold up as well as they do. However, it is easy to lose teeth from decay, and from the loss of the bone that holds the teeth in. Environmental consequences like harsh food, processed sugar in food, bones and other hard food that can crack teeth, and genetic differences in tooth resistance and sensitivity of the immune system all play a part.
Q. What Causes Periodontal Disease?
A. First of all Periodontal disease is not a disease. The body naturally defends itself against bacteria through the immune system which can actually cause bone to grow away from any invasion. Teeth are awash in a sea of bacteria and sit in bone right next to the sea. Bacteria living in the crevices next to the teeth create chemicals that the immune system reacts to. We call Periodontal disease the loss of bone caused by our own white cells. In the rest of the body the bone grows back. Alas, in the mouth the bone doesn’t grow back and the bone loss increases, leading eventually to bone loss.
Q. Can Periodontal Disease Be Prevented?
A. Yes and no. Bacteria have to live on the teeth at least one day to produce the chemicals that our own bodies react to. They especially love to live on the hard build up (called tartar) that we Dentists clean off the teeth as part of normal maintenance. If all the teeth surfaces are cleaned (including between the teeth) are totally cleansed every twenty-four hours then our body would have nothing to react to and there would be no bone loss. Unfortunately we are not perfect in our cleanliness.
Q. How Does Plaque Attack the Gums?
A. Plaque does not attack the gums. Plaque is a mixture of bacteria and gunk that stick to the teeth. After the bacteria have settled for twenty-four hours they naturally start producing the chemicals that cause our own immune system to reduce exposure to bone by getting it to pull back from what it thinks is an invasion.
Q. How Do You Stop Plaque Attacks?
A. If bacteria are removed, at least once a day, then they do not produce the chemicals that cause bone loss. That involves regular brushing and flossing. Some people require additional tools, many of which can be found in local pharmacies and grocery stores.
Q. How many times a day should I brush my teeth?
A. At least once, very well.
Q. What kind of toothpaste should I use?
A. Any major brand that contains fluoride. Fluoridestrengthens enamel resistence to decay and is excellent in drinking water as well. It, alas, does nothing for bone loss.
Q. How can we contact Dr. Lazarus if we have further questions?