As dedicated readers, you may remember a past expert contributing article which discussed periodontal disease and its cardiovascular, inflammatory, and cognitive effects on our whole-body well-being. Unfortunately, the limited scope of subject matter did not allow for me to expound on the treatment of gum disease and new advanced modalities.
The diagnosis of periodontal disease can be traced as far back as 5000 B.C., in which clay tablets discussed remedies for the disease; utilizing “a mixture of myrrh, asafetida, oponax, as well as pine turpentine rubbed onto teeth until blood comes forth.” In the scholarly, Hippocratic Collection, Hippocrates refers to it as “pituita” and describes the disease as “gums being detached from the teeth and smell bad”. By the 1800’s, the official name for the disease was Rigg’s Disease; named after American Dentist John Riggs, most notably known for being the personal dentist of Mark Twain. At this time in history, sophisticated instrumentation and treatment modalities would be developed based on scientific research that would be utilized to effectively clean the tooth, but unfortunately still oftentimes tooth removal was optimal. By the 1970’s, surgical techniques were developed to eliminate the periodontal pocket, which would today in many cases be considered aggressive. With the advent of systemic antibiotics, localized antibiotics, thorough scaling and root planning of the root surface, and disinfection of the periodontal pocket, we can now reduce the necessity for surgical treatment. Modern day treatment for periodontal disease is now focused on treating the disease type and severity with traditional methods, as well as with guided tissue and bone grafting techniques that can be accomplished both surgically and with lasers.
Low Power Laser, or LPL, has become commonly used in medicine to treat pain and inflammation, hair growth, skin rejuvenation, and to stimulate wound healing. Laser treatment is not only effective in reducing inflammation created bacteria in the disease process, but the wavelength/lower power frequency created by the laser is attracted to the pathogenic, gram- negative bacteria that cause gum disease and destroys them and accelerates wound healing of the periodontal pocket.
Laser bacterial reduction, or LBR, and Laser Assisted Attachment Procedure, or LANAP are types of laser periodontal treatments that may be suggested by your oral health care provider to treat your stage of gum infection. LBR, may be done during a routine cleaning or periodontal maintenance, which is completed by using a non-cutting laser directed into the periodontal pocket to not only kill bacteria but reduce inflammation and prevent the spread of gum disease. LANAP is laser-assisted surgical therapy for treatment of periodontitis intended to remove infected tissue within the periodontal pocket as well as regenerate.
As with any disease, prevention and maintenance of periodontal disease is imperative. When used in conjunction with advanced laser therapy and research in biological markers, perhaps non-existent?
If you’d like to learn more about laser treatment for periodontal disease, tap the button below! Get in touch today to schedule a consultation.