Gum Disease Discussed by Macomb County MI Dentist

Hi. My name is Dr. Robert Antolak, the dentist at in Shelby Township in Michigan, and I would like to focus on periodontal disease and what gum disease is.

Gum disease is something that affects about 50% of the adults in the United States. Gum disease is where you start losing bone that is around the teeth. When people have gum disease usually they are not even aware that they have it but they might start getting some areas that where the gums are receding and pulling up. The breath might smell bad. They may have bleeding of their gums when they try flossing, when they brush. These are all signs of gum disease.

Gum disease affects not only 50% of the people, but it’s even more common amongst people who smoke and those who are diabetic.  Recently I just got back from a seminar at the University of Michigan and it was a symposium on the current trends and treatments for gum disease.  What they had said was, and which confirms a lot of our findings that I have seen, is that those who smoke have gum disease and those who are diabetic and it’s vice versa. One supports the other. So, if someone has gum disease, usually they can have a chance of having diabetes. In fact, the other day I had a patient who I saw, young lady; she had bone loss around her teeth and I had recommended that she does a fasting glucose test through her physician so that they can possibly eliminate her of being a diabetic. She doesn’t have a family history of diabetes and so this is one way we can actually start to diagnose medical conditions.

These systemic conditions definitely affect people and if they can take care of their gum disease, it’ll also help them to regulate their other systemic problems.  Gum disease is an infection of the gums, like I said before. Let me just demonstrate here. I have a model that has this pink area. It’s, like, gum tissue here. And so what we do is, we will actually go around each tooth make a measurement of each one. This is called a periodontal probe. A periodontal probe is a mechanical device, and each of those increments is about 3 millimeters. Any area above 3 millimeters where gently probed, if it goes 4, 5, 6 millimeters. That means that you have bone loss around your teeth and when we have bone loss that usually means that the teeth are loose and there’s recession around it, and there’s also bacteria that’s growing below the gum line that causes the gum disease.

It is very important to have that taken care of the entire mouth have what’s called scaling and root planning to treat this. Scaling and root planning is a treatment where we will numb you up, and go around each tooth and clean using what’s called an ultrasonic, which kind of vibrates. And what it does is it uses ultrasonic energy to vibrate and get rid of the tartar and bacterial plaque that forms below the gums.

Another interesting thing about gum disease is there’s a genetic link.  You can have a genetic test done to see if you are more predisposed to gum disease. But the only way to positively do that is by going to your dentist and having them use this periodontal probe and going around your mouth and probing and making recordings based on them.  If your dentist is not doing that, then I would suggest either that you ask them, and/or get another dentist. Because this is something that needs to be regulated on a regular basis, is to have the gums probed and by usually a registered dental hygienist or the dentist.

Gum Disease Discussed by Macomb County MI Dentist

If this is something that you’re interested in having better health, especially for the new year, I would suggest that you give us a call. Our phone number is 586-247-3500. Our website is Thank you. Have a blessed day.