Periodontics in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island
Laser Gum Therapy – Treating Advanced Periodontal Disease
“Gum disease” is a generic term describing various disease entities. The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis, typically caused by poor oral hygiene but other factors like poor fitting restorations or even snoring can contribute. Gingivitis is easily treated and managed with routine maintenance done by a hygienist.
Periodontal disease is not unlike gingivitis in that the symptoms are very similar – swollen or bleeding gums, and bad breath, for example. The difference is that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease are different from those that cause gingivitis. Pathogenic bacteria can grow and multiply on the root surfaces below the gum line. In periodontal disease, your body’s immune system tries to fight off the bacterial infection and in doing so, the jawbone supporting the teeth will deteriorate in susceptible individuals. The disease is chronic and in the late stages can cause discomfort as the teeth lose bone support. Periodontal disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults.
If periodontal disease is identified in its early stages, scaling and root planing, commonly known as a “deep cleaning”, can be successful in eradicating the bacterial growth under the gums. The conventional technique for successfully treating teeth suffering from severe periodontitis involves a surgical procedure where a scalpel is used to gently separate the gums from the infected teeth to create access necessary to achieve thorough detoxification. The surgeon may then reshape the surrounding jawbone and gums to reproduce a healthy micro-environment that reduces the possibility of bacterial re-infection.
Dr. Schlesinger utilizes the Waterlase YSGG advanced laser system to achieve a more predictable, and often superior, result. The difference between the two methods is that with our laser, the surgery is bladeless, bleeding is minimal, sutures can sometimes be avoided, recovery is much quicker and the procedure overall is less painful because it is minimally invasive.
With the aid of special medical products called biomodulators, we are able to genetically engineer new bone and ligament tissue that was previously damaged by the bacterial infection of severe periodontal disease, thereby strengthening the previously diseased tooth and improving the long-term prognosis. This process is known as periodontal regeneration.
Our practice is unique in that we are able to combine YSGG laser therapy with oral regenerative medicine techniques to offer the most advanced periodontal treatment anywhere in the world.
Receding gums may be attributed to several factors, including brushing too vigorously, prior orthodontic treatment (braces) which pushes teeth out and can make them more vulnerable, or periodontal disease. The loss of soft tissue may result in tooth sensitivity. The exposure of the roots also increases the likelihood of tooth decay since the roots are not as resistant to decay as enamel. Sometimes bacterial plaque can be difficult to manage where there is severe recession.
When recession is severe, the teeth lose the protective function of the gums, and when left untreated can lead to the progression of periodontitis.
Several methods exist to effectively treat recession, most of which involve soft tissue grafting procedures. Grafting entails transplanting tissue from a healthy area in a patient’s mouth to the deficient area where there is recession. The result is new, healthy, thicker gum tissue which may remain stable for a long period of time.
Synthetic dermal substitutes, which are made from specially processed layers of collagen, are available as an alternative to using your own tissue. The amount of donor tissue available for grafting is limited so in situations where several teeth require treatment, the synthetic material may be the only option. The “pin-hole” technique is a variation of this, where strips of collagen are tucked under the gums to help stimulate a thickening of the tissue.
The reason for various techniques is because different circumstances may result in different success rates. We will review all the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods with you so that we can optimize the outcome.
For your convenience, our offices are open seven days a week. We accept walk-ins and offer affordable care and financing options. Contact us today to learn more about what our periodontists can do to improve the health of your smile. Call us today at 844.365.DENTAL or request an appointment through our website at any time.