A very recent technology available in the form of Laser Periodontal Therapy can add to your professional teeth cleaning to help fight periodontal (gum) disease. Laser treatment is painless and can be administered within the usual time frame of most dental hygiene appointments.
Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society. Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years, and we now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissues around your teeth. Dentists now, not only treat periodontal/gum disease with removal of mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (your normal cleanings), but are also addressing the underlying infection that causes it. With that thought in mind, they may recommend that some patients have their teeth and gums decontaminated with a diode laser during their cleaning appointments for three major reasons:
1. To reduce or eliminate bacteria. During the professional teeth cleaning process most patients will have some areas that may bleed. This allows bacteria (pathogens) that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and sometimes settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or artificial knee, hip, etc. Latest research shows that these oral pathogens have now been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies and diabetes. Needless to say, anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate bacteria is positive for all our patients.
2. To prevent cross contamination of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up bacterial infection in one area of our mouth and move it to another.
3. To reduce pocket depth and inflammation, which may lead to bone loss. This laser therapy is used to treat more aggressive forms of gum disease called periodontitis. We recommend this treatment when deeper periodontal pockets are diagnosed when inflammation and bleeding are present. Deep pockets around the teeth are difficult to clean and bacteria and debris tend to accumulate and cause further damage. This type of laser therapy requires multiple appointments with freezing. The number of appointments needed is based on the severity of the infection. Patients will notice a reduction in pocket depth and healthier tissues. Reducing the pocket depth makes these pockets easier to maintain. Laser therapy also reduces the amount of harmful pathogens in the oral cavity that cause destructive break down of bone support around teeth. Researchers know there is a synergistic relationship between our oral health and our overall wellness.
Please ask your hygienists, if you have any questions regarding these treatments.