Thursday, December 6, 2012

Treating Gum Disease with Laser Technology


As part of our prevention and treatment for periodontal disease, we have an effective treatment called Laser Bacterial Reduction or LBR that helps us control the infection in your mouth.  We also offer laser bacterial reduction to our patients who are showing early signs of periodontal disease (red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing and/or flossing).
Laser is used to significantly reduce the depth of the inflamed tissue and infected pockets and prevent the progression of the disease. The Laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes 5-10 minutes. We recommend that all of our patients have their teeth and surrounding tissues decontaminated during their periodontal maintenance appointments for three main reasons.
  1. Kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections. In the past, hygienists have been limited to removing hard and soft deposits within the periodontal pocket only. We now know that bacteria migrate into the underlying tissues and cannot be reached with traditional cleaning only. The laser light is able to penetrate these tissues and thermally dehydrate the biofilms. Dehydration is lethal to bacteria, thus greatly reducing the potential for infection and loss of attachment of the gums to the teeth.
  2. Prevent cross contamination of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up bacterial infection in one area of your mouth and move it to others.
  3. Reduce or eliminate bacteremias. During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that bleed. This allows bacteria that are present in all our mouths to flood into the bloodstream (bacteremia). Latest research shows that oral pathogens have now been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low weight babies, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc. Anything we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive treatment for our patients. 
Laser Bacterial Reduction is an important part of the overall periodontal therapy program that we have designed for you to restore health to your gums.  For our patients who are showing early signs of periodontal disease, we highly recomend LBR (LBR assisted prophylaxis fee is $40.00 and most insurances consider this a patient expense).

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