Did you know that medical researchers have found links between periodontal disease and medical conditions such as
- Heart Disease
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Respiratory infections, and most recently
Taking care of your mouth is no longer just about saving your teeth. It could add years to your life and greatly improve the quality of those years.
It is estimated that about 75% of adults have some degree of gum disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria is allowed to build up at or below the gum line to form plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that results when bacteria are allowed to colonize. The acid waste products from the plaque causes the tissue to become inflamed and the destruction of healthy tissue begins, starting with bleeding and red (instead of healthy pink) gums. If allowed to progress further, the inflammation will eventually start to eat away at the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. If plaque remains on the teeth for a long enough period of time it will calcify and become tarter or calculus which is similar to barnacles stuck to the side of a pier and can only be removed by a dental professional. Calculus is loaded with destructive bacteria and the process of bone and tissue loss continues until it is removed or the tooth is lost.
Until now, periodontal treatment has been a more of a maintenance procedure instead of a cure. Often our best efforts would be considered successful if the disease could be stalled and the pockets weren't getting any deeper. If surgery was required it could be a very painful recovery, leaving gums receded and root surfaces of teeth exposed and sensitive.
Now, using laser technology we can in many cases actually heal periodontal pockets and even stimulate new bone growth without surgery and without pain. Both of our hygienists have been trained and certified to perform laser assisted periodontal therapy.
How The Laser Treatment Works
After removing the plaque and calculus we will use a laser to remove diseased and infected tissue around your teeth. This laser selectively targets only the problem tissue and leaves healthy tissue alone. At the same time the laser destroys the bacteria that cause gum disease and stimulates your gums to heal from the bottom up. It has been shown that laser therapy increases circulation at the bottom of your pockets and helps rejuvenate your gum attachment.
WPT™ (Wavelength-optimized Periodontal Therapy) creates the optimal conditions for healing of periodontal disease by removing the diseased epithelial lining of the periodontal pocket, removing calculus from the root surface and sealing the pocket after treatment with a stable fibrin clot.
As wonderful as the new laser periodontal therapy sounds, it is still imperative that you, the patient, commit yourself to improving your home care techniques so that the healthy tissue that the laser can give you will remain that way after your treatment is completed.
Donna or Carmel would be happy to answer all your questions about periodontal disease and this breakthrough laser assisted periodontal therapy at your next office visit.