Periodontal (Gum) Disease and Laser Gum Surgery
Is gum disease common?
If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you're not alone. An estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Untreated, gum disease can progress to the point that teeth need to be removed. Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Research points to the possible health effects of periodontal diseases that go well beyond your mouth, and may be linked to other systemic conditions. Whether gum disease is stopped, slowed down, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums daily, as well as with the assistance and treatment by dental professionals.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Here are the most common symptoms of gum disease. If you have any of these, you should consult your dentist about the health of your gums and teeth.
If you have gum disease, can the LANAP™ procedure help your condition?
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or when eating hard food
- Receding gums that pull away from the teeth that cause teeth to look longer than before
- Loose teeth
- New spaces forming between teeth at the gum line line, often trapping food
- Spreading of teeth that once touched one to the other
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Bone loss noted on dental X-rays
- Gum pockets greater than 3 millimeters
In most instances, the LANAP™ procedure can help patients diagnosed with gum disease. While Dr. Winter does perform traditional periodontal procedures such as flap surgery, osseous surgery, bone grafts, dental implants, gum grafts and more, as a result of his special training, he is certified to offer LASER therapy as an alternative to other conventional forms of gum treatment. The LANAP™ procedure can successfully be performed on patients with diabetes, patients on aspirin therapy, patients who take blood-thinners such as Coumadin or Plavix, patients with osteoporosis, patients on bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast and as well as other medical conditions. If you’ve been told you would benefit from gum surgery, then LASER therapy is certainly an option to consider, and it is an option that is simple to perform and comfortable for the patient.
The LANAP™ utilizes a tiny beam of LASER energy to treat moderate to severe periodontal disease. This LASER light gently removes harmful bacteria and diseased tissue from the gum pocket. In effect, it sterilizes both the infected pocket and the tooth root. Sterilizing the hard outer shell of the tooth root, known as cementum, is critical to the success of the LANAP™ because endotoxins that are secreted by harmful bacterial pathogens become embedded into the root surface. This process is more thorough and effective than the traditional scraping of the roots commonly referred to as scaling or root planning. This insures the best opportunity to remove the endotoxins so the tissues in the pocket have an opportunity to regenerate.
The image on the left is the before X-ray. It depicts severe bone loss characterized by a darker gray between two incisors (lower front teeth). This darkness means less bone is present. At examination, the gum pocket was 10 mm deep. (Pockets cannot be seen on X-rays). Treatment options for this problem included removing the tooth, performing gum surgery and inserting a bone graft while using a guided tissue membrane, or treating the gum pocket with a laser. A laser gum surgery was performed and the X-ray on the right is a 3-month followup. It demonstrates that the dark bone is becoming lighter in color; this translates to the fact that new bone is forming. This area will be monitored in the coming months and years, but at the present time, the residual pocket is healthy and only measures 1 mm in depth.
January 12, 2010
April 6, 2010
For more information on periodontal laser (LANAP) surgery, call 212-355-5595 or use our contact form
or visit http://www.centralparkperio.com
to learn more about Central Park Periodontics and the full array of services its doctors provide.
About Central Park Periodontics
A New York City periodontal practice limited to treating periodontal disease, inserting dental implants, and performing laser (LANAP) gum surgery, Central Park Periodontics (www.centralparkperio.com) utilizes current technologies to create optimum treatment results while minimizing risk in a safe, comfortable environment. Central Park Periodontics creates a team approach – the patient, their family dentist, and one of Central Park Periodontics’s periodontists – to individualize a comprehensive treatment plan tailor-made for each patient.
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