There are around 100 billion germs in the oral cavity – around fourteen times as many microorganisms as there are people around the world. Among these bacteria and germs in the mouth, there are both peaceful representatives, as well as those who are aggressive and seek the fight. Consequently, every person has to contend with daily attacks on the gums.
Now, if the body’s defense system does not work optimally (for example, in case of persistent stress or deficiency symptoms), the defective bacteria at the sensitive areas of the gum to create, and dig there the bone that anchors the tooth. The result is gum problems, which are a relatively common condition.
Clinical studies show that these infections and diseases of the gums are at high risk for the development of many diseases.
Diagnose gum problems correctly
The following figure shows an example of the marker germ analysis:
aMMP-8 – a biomarker for periodontal tissue degradation in periodontitis and peri-implantitis
The Periodontal Screening Index (PSI) and X-ray are established diagnostic procedures for the detection of periodontal gum problems. However, both document only later, and therefore too late the occurred soft and hard tissue degradation in the mouth. With the quantitative detection of the active matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8) in sulcular fluid, a new innovative test for the diagnosis of periodontal or peri-implant tissue destruction is now available.
aMMP-8 is not only an inflammatory marker, but an indicator of tissue destruction.
The causative agent of the inflammatory cascade in the pathogenesis of periodontitis / periimplantitis are the bacteria of the dental biofilm or, in the case of peri-implantitis, also released titanium oxide particles which are taken up by tissue macrophages. These cause an inflammatory reaction that leads to the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and TNF-alpha in macrophages and MMP-8 in granulocytes. MMP-8 (formerly called collagenase-2), in its active form, destroys the three-dimensional collagenase network of the periodontium, which promotes attachment loss and bacterial invasion. The aMMP-8 is thus mainly responsible for tissue degradation.
Fig. 1: Pathomechanism MMP-8
To detect the aMMP-8, only a special sampling strip is inserted into the sulcus and sent to the laboratory in a shipping tube where the quantitative detection from the sample eluate is performed. The detection is carried out by means of a standardized ELISA method, whereby only the active form of the MMP-8 is detected.
Gums and psyche
The influence of mental factors on gum problems
When evaluating aggressive periodontitis, psychosocial factors of a patient must be critically questioned. In therapy concepts for the treatment of aggressive gum problems, it therefore makes sense to consider mental and psychosocial peculiarities in order to achieve long-term therapeutic success.
Two studies highlight the influence of mental factors – here depression and stress – on the periodontium.
SALETU ETAL consider a depressive mood as a relevant pathogenic factor of periodontitis. In a psychometric study (various indices, collected by observers and self-assessments) on 40 patients, they found a correlation between the severity of the gum problems and the depression or anxiety index.
The results of a study at the University of Mainz also suggest that stress factors and critical life events can have a negative influence on the course of marginal periodontitis. 150 patients with aggressive periodontitis and 153 periodontal healthy control persons of comparable age and gender were examined by a dentist and interviewed with a special questionnaire about critical life events. The comparison between the patient groups showed statistically significant differences with regard to critical areas of life.
To check whether psycho-emotional blockages are related to your gum problem, we have been using the MindLINK test systems in our practice for many years. More information can be found at: www.mindlink.info
Light instead of antibiotics
The photodynamic treatment of your periodontal pockets
With gentle laser light against periodontitis! Lots of effect – no side effect – no antibiotics. Often the dentist today recommends the treatment of larger gum problems with prolonged administration of antibiotics. We practice photodynamic laser therapy with good and clinically controlled success to kill the bacteria in the periodontal pockets as an alternative to administering antibiotics – both in inflammatory periodontal pockets and implants to prevent premature loss.
Course of treatment:
First, teeth, gum and bone bags are professionally cleaned to remove the soft and hard pads and to reduce the bacterial count.
1. In the first step, a blue dye solution is applied to the gingival and bone pockets. This solution is a so-called photosensitizer, that is a dye that reacts to laser light of a certain wavelength. The dye molecules attach to the bacterial membrane, causing the bacteria to stain.
2. Gum pockets are rinsed to remove excess solution.
3. Finally, the exposure is done with a gentle therapy laser. The laser light causes the formation of active oxygen, which damages the bacterial membrane and destroys the bacteria.
Unfortunately, this antimicrobial photodynamic therapy is in principle a “private service on request” according to § 6 Abs. 2 GOZ, and not the subject of the dental treatment.
Ozone instead of antibiotics
Although the medical use of ozone in Germany began in the thirties, it still plays a very underdeveloped role in medicine today. Based on current work, new insights into the antibacterial and antiviral efficacy of ozone can be objectively identified and put into practice. In the Treatment of inflammatory gum disease With a 10-minute perfusion with an individual spoon, routine ozone flooding via a tray has proven to be particularly useful.
We perform this application before and up to 5 times after each periodontal treatment. Just the combination of photodynamics and ozone application In many cases, it seems that in the case of gum problems antibiotics are superfluous, as the corresponding check-ups in the form of bacteriograms have shown in our practice.
For more information on the use of ozone in gum problems, see the following article: Ozone – an alternative to antibiotics
Dietary supplement instead of antibiotics
A recent study by the University of Jena proves the positive influence of Vitatmin C on the gums in periodontitis patients. A recent study at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena has shown that the high vitamin C content in grapefruit can protect against gum problems. The results of the investigations are in the current edition of the British Dental Journal published by the Society for Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics e.V. Patients with periodontitis, unlike healthy people, had a significantly lower vitamin C content in their blood, with smokers even lower than non-smokers. In addition, the bleeding decreased with increasing vitamin C concentration, which the scientists attributed to the antibacterial effect of the vitamin.
Therefore, we support the – self-dentistry – dental treatment on the gums by high-dose infusions of vitamin C. According to the scientists, vitamin C can prevent gum problems and prevent or significantly improve gum disease. It has long been known that a long-lasting renunciation of vegetables and fruits leads to diseases such as scurvy, which are associated with severe gingivitis and tooth loss. Holistic Dentistry, with coenzyme Q, vitamin C and zinc, can very effectively support local dental care and is a real alternative to long-term antibiotics. We consider these to be very critical because of possible long-term damage from antibiotics.
For the exact and appropriate individual determination which nutritional supplements you need to support the regeneration and the inflammation-free preservation of your gums, we have been using the MindLINK test system PrevenTEST® for balancing the periodontal metabolism in our practice clinic for many years.
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