Monday 20 August 2018

Treating Chronic Gum Disease

Woman Smiling Image by AXL, thanks to Shutterstock

Good oral health protects the teeth, gum, and surrounding bone structures while preserving your brilliant smile. It also helps prevent diseases and conditions associated with poor oral health, such as chronic periodontitis.

Periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease, is a serious condition that results from bacterial infection of the gum and supporting bone structure of the teeth. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Oral Health Division reports that 47.2% of individuals in the US who are above the age of 30 will develop some type of periodontal disease.

Among the types of periodontitis, chronic periodontitis is most common. It occurs when excess plaque buildup, due to poor oral hygiene, cause inflammation and other symptoms. Although chronic periodontitis can be treated in other ways, Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR) is a new technology being used to get rid of it.

Understanding Chronic Periodontitis

Plaque is that off-white layer of hardened food particles that sticks to the surface of teeth. It occurs mainly in hard-to-reach places in the mouth, such as on or between teeth at the back of the mouth. Plaque build-up results in gingivitis, the early stage of periodontitis where the gum becomes inflamed, swell, and bleed. If left unchecked, gingivitis can turn into advanced gum disease or chronic periodontitis.

Gum affected by chronic periodontitis appears severely inflamed, is infected with a colony of bacteria, and bleeds easily, especially during brushing. Severe bad breath (halitosis), sensitive gum, and receding gum are other symptoms. Inflammation and bacteria eventually spread down into the periodontal pockets along the root of the teeth, destroying tissues and bone that keep the teeth in place. This process occurs gradually over several years and eventually leads to teeth loosening and loss.

In extreme cases, Bacteremias and other types of periodontal bacteria can enter the body and compromise the immune system. Periodontal disease has been linked to medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure, and Alzheimer’s, some of which are potentially life-threatening. Diabetics with unhealthy gum are said to be twice as likely to develop heart disease and kidney failure. In addition, low birth weight is associated with gum disease in pregnant women.

Risk Factors of Chronic Periodontitis

Although poor hygiene is one of the most common cause of chronic periodontitis, there are several other existing risk factors for developing periodontal disease. Its severity and the extent of damage it wreaks depend heavily on the root cause.

The following are some common causes of this dental problem. Knowing them can help you reduce the risk of developing gum disease and associated diseases or conditions. Some of them can even be managed or eliminated from a person’s lifestyle to prevent or reduce the risk.

• Genetics
• Age
• Stress
• Nutrition
• Medication
• Smoking
• Faulty dentistry
• Diabetes
• History of periodontal disease
• Compromised immune system (e.g., due to H.I.V or cancer treatment)

The Laser Bacterial Reduction Procedure

Inflamed periodontal pockets of the tooth can become a haven for billions of bacteria. Laser bacterial reduction is a new technique in the dentist’s arsenal that involves the use of soft tissue lasers to attack periodontal disease at a microscopic level. The dentist uses a non-cutting laser in a circular, sweeping motion to get within the pockets of the gum. The laser light is used to destroy bacterial colonies and can drastically reduce bacterial count from billions to hundreds within seconds!

Other cleaning and treatment methods, used prior to this cutting-edge laser technique, are unable to achieve these results. Reducing oral bacteria with laser treatment is proven to be quite effective in eliminating periodontal bacteria within 5-10 minutes.

Laser bacterial reduction is used to complement other techniques and therapies used to treat periodontal disease and promote oral health. It should not be taken as a substitute for regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing or routine dental cleaning used to maintain oral health. Routine oral care at home, post-treatment, is necessary to aid reattachment of the gum pockets and prevent the disease from coming back.

Benefits of Laser Bacterial Reduction

There are several benefits of laser bacterial reduction that can help improve oral and overall health and well-being. They include the following:

• Quick, effective method of getting rid of millions of infectious bacteria in seconds
• Practically painless procedure that stops gum disease
• No need to cut the gum
• Helps stabilize loose tooth
• Restores gum health when complemented with routine home and dental care
• If done early, can prevent or slow bone structure damage and tooth loss
• Prevents the spread of inflammation that can cause other diseases and conditions
• Less tissue damage and post-treatment discomfort, e.g., swelling, compared to other dental treatments and therapies

Good Candidates for Laser Bacterial Reduction

You may be a good candidate for laser bacterial reduction if the following applies to you:

• Your gum is chronically inflamed
• You show other signs and symptoms of chronic periodontitis
• You’ve tried dental treatments and therapies that failed
• You possess one or more of the risk factors, e.g., diabetes or a history of periodontitis
• You’re committed to maintaining routine oral care to prevent recurrence of the disease

Why Choosing an Expert Dentist is Important

All dentists do not have the same expertise and professionalism when it comes to providing outstanding dental services. This is why choosing a dentist with the necessary skills and experience can make the difference between a positive or negative experience in the dental chair. If you are seeking treatment for chronic periodontitis using laser bacterial reduction, you should choose a dentist who is certified and skilled in this procedure.

Dr.Marc Lazare, D.D.S., Master of the Academy of General Dentistry (M.A.G.D.), is a certified dentist who is highly experienced in laser bacterial treatment in New York City. He understands the importance of good oral health and the need for personalized patient care. He uses the latest dental tools, materials, and techniques when providing both adult and pediatric general and cosmetic services. 

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