Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, is a chronic bacterial infection. Gum disease is caused by plaque, which creates toxins that damage the gums. This affects up to 85% of US adults, according to the latest studies. That would be more than 175 million adults with gum disease, more than Heart disease (81 million), Arthritis (50 million), Diabetes (26 million), or Cancer (2.4 million) combined. 40% of those adults don’t even know they have gum disease. But only 3% with moderate to severe gum disease accept traditional treatment.
Dental Implant 101
Dental Implants are becoming increasingly popular options for missing teeth. The implant is a titanium post placed into your jaw that serves as a substitute for a tooth root, with the tooth crown placed on top. Many dental implants are long-term solutions, but as more implants are placed, there are more cases of dental implants that fail. Experts estimate that between 3-20% of implants fail.
Implants themselves can’t become infected, but the tissue around implants can become infected. Gum disease and peri-implant disease both start with minor inflammation that progresses if not treated. If left untreated, the inflammation continues until the bone around the tooth or implant erodes and they become loose. Initial inflammation could be due to existing periodontal bacteria, or due to foreign materials. When the crown of the implant is bonded to the base, small bits of the cement bonding may get stuck between the implant and gum line.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Most patients don’t realize the signs and symptoms are often not painful, so gum disease often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction catches an individual’s attention.
The symptoms and signs can include some or all of the following:
- Swelling in the gums
- High gum sensitivity
- Tooth or implant mobility
- Gum recession
- Bleeding or pus from the gums, especially when brushing or flossing
- Mild to severe pain
- Change in color surrounding the tooth/implant
- Bad breath
Laser Periodontal Treatment is often the Best Solution
The newest technology available for periodontal patient care is now available. Similar to LASIK surgery for the eyes, this laser therapy allows dentists to treat patients with a non-invasive, patient-friendly, breakthrough procedure. The Periolase MVP-7™ is an
FDA- cleared laser that was developed specifically to treat periodontal disease using the LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) protocol and LAR (Laser Assisted Regeneration). A fiber the width of 3 human hairs is inserted between the tooth or implant, and gum. Laser energy kills bacteria, vaporizes cement, and stimulates stem cells found in your bone to reduce the bacterial infection and promote healing. This is a less painful, more successful treatment alternative to conventional surgery because there is no need for cutting or sutures.
LANAP and LAR are the only scientifically, research-proven methodologies that result in true periodontal regeneration, new bone growth and gum tissue reattachment. It is a minimally invasive surgery that does not require the need for a blade or sutures and offers very little recession and pain for the patient. The laser uses a particular wavelength that tells the difference between non-healthy and healthy tissue by using their color differences, meaning it is very safe and selective. According to a study in the International Journal Of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, the infected tissue, which has a darker pigment than healthy tissue, is “zapped” away by the laser, leaving behind only healthy gum tissue. The LANAP protocol helps connective tissue and bone form between the gums and the teeth. The laser’s heat also seals in a “thermal blood clot” which creates a physical barrier to block any bacteria that could recreate a gum pocket.
This is the first time dental providers can remove diseased tissue and bacteria from gums without causing damage to healthy tissue. Additionally, there is less downtime, less recession of the gum line, and less time needed to heal when compared to traditional gum surgery.
In most instances, treatment with the Periolase MVP-7tm eliminates the need for conventional “cut and suture” periodontal surgery, also referred to as “flap and osseous” surgery. For those who are anxious about the traditional type of periodontal surgery, the new laser treatment can be a life-changing alternative! Teeth can be saved and natural smiles preserved through this new treatment option.