Asheville Dental Care is dedicated to using digital technology that improves patient care.

Dr. Powell is a member of the Academy of CAD/CAM Dentistry (ACCD). This organization is a network of dedicated dental professionals founded in 1991.

This group of professionals is dedicated to learning and furthering advancements in dental care. Initially, the organization was focused on the CEREC CAD-CAM technology. The proliferation of another digital technology has proven so useful in dentistry; the ACCD now includes digital radiography, imaging, photography, data management, and office software systems as well as other technologies as part of this undertaking.

The ACCD seeks to raise the level of awareness of these exciting technologies as well as offer an avenue of support and training in the wide range of possible applications. Members continuously grow in their skills through education, experience and networking with other users to provide their patients with the finest dentistry currently available.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is also known as “gum disease.” It is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bone, and they are what support your teeth and hold them in your mouth. The gums are the very foundation of the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect all of the teeth, or it can be localized and affect just one tooth or specific teeth. It all starts when plaque, the sticky, gooey, whitish-yellow film that forms on your teeth, causes your gums to become inflamed. Plaque has bacteria living and growing inside of it. If the plaque is not thoroughly removed, it will calcify and harden in calculus, or tarter.

Types of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. With gingivitis, your gums may or may not be uncomfortable and sensitive. It is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene (ex: inadequate brushing, flossing, etc.). Fortunately, with good oral care and regular dental visits, gingivitis can be reversed without permanent damage to your gums and bone. If gingivitis is not properly treated, it can progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis begins when plaque and bacteria spread and start growing below the gumline. Once periodontitis begins, permanent, irreversible damage occurs to the bone and surrounding tissues.

What causes this damage to my gums and bone?

The bacteria in plaque produces toxins, which irritate the gums. These toxins induce the body’s natural chronic inflammatory response. This stimulates the body to “fight off” infection, so the immune system literally kicks in and ends up “turning” on the body. The gum tissue and bone that support your teeth are literally broken down and destroyed. When this happens, the gums may separate from the teeth and appear “loose”. Pockets of infection (spaces between the teeth and gums) begin to form. If the disease is not treated, the bone loss gets worse. The pockets get deeper and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. The infection worsens. As the teeth lose their support, they may become loose and eventually have to be removed or even fall out on their own. Once periodontitis begins, there are treatment options available to “arrest” the disease and stop it from getting worse. There are different stages of periodontitis: mild or early periodontitis, moderate periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Often times, periodontitis has no symptoms until the advanced stages.

Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Red, swollen, and/or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing and/or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth that have moved, or changes in the way your teeth fit together
  • Pus between the gum and tooth
  • Bad breath or taste that will not go away

Risk Factors

  • Improper/poor home care (inadequate brushing, flossing)
  • Irregular dental visits
  • Tobacco use (smoking, chewing, dipping, etc.)
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal changes
  • Systemic disease/conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, leukemia, AIDS/HIV, or other conditions that may inhibit healing)

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and preterm/low birth weight babies. If you suspect you have periodontal disease or want to make sure you prevent periodontal disease from happening to you, make an appointment with your dental health professional.