Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is often called, is an inflammatory condition that, if left untreated, may cause irreversible damage to the gums and bone that may lead to tooth loss. Our office is proactive in educating patients about gum disease and what can be done to prevent gum disease. After diagnosis of gum disease we use some of the best technology available today including soft tissue lasers and genetic and bacterial testing.
Laser Gum Treatment
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy, or LAPT for short, is the latest, most cutting edge treatment for periodontal disease (gum disease). It combines traditional periodontal “deep cleaning” techniques with the healing properties of using a laser. The advantages to using a laser over traditional instruments include the extreme precision of the laser to remove only diseased tissue, limit postoperative discomfort, and to provide an optimal environment for rapid healing. The number of visits required for LAPT is determined on a case by case basis, depending upon the amount and extent of gum disease present. Upon the completion of any treatment for gum disease, more frequent visits are recommended in order to manage the disease process by disrupting bacterial colonization to prevent further damage to the teeth and supporting structures (bone and gums). Failure to treat gum disease can result in infections as well as loss of teeth.
Risk factors include some of the following: genetics, stress, tobacco use, stress, poor nutrition, grinding and/or clenching your teeth, and other systemic factors. Our office makes it a priority to help our patients determine their risk factors to treat and prevent damage and tooth loss.
Our hygienist, Kim, has several years of experience with laser-assisted periodontal therapy. She has attended several post-graduate courses on laser therapy and has been certified to use a soft tissue laser since 2008.
We have paired with Access Genetic Labs, the creators of Oral DNA, to offer our patients 3 tests to aid in prevention and treatment of periodontal disease and oral cancer. We currently offer MyPerioID, MyPerioPath, and HPV Screening through one single salivary sample.
MyPerioID allows us to identify an individual’s genetic susceptibility to gum disease. A patient may receive a gene from one or both parents that makes him/her susceptible to bone loss. MyPerioID enables us to establish if a patient is at increased risk for more severe periodontal disease due to an exaggerated immune response. Individuals react with varying levels of inflammatory responses when faced with the same bacterial stimulation. Knowing one’s genetic susceptibility can help us not only treat that person but also be proactive in determining if that particular gene has been passed to offspring.
MyPerioPath is another type of salivary test that allows us to determine the type and concentration of specific bacteria that are known to be associated with gum disease. The results from MyPerioPath testing allow us to better assess risk for periodontal disease as well as provide more individualized treatment to our patients.
Humanpapillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common viruses in the world and the presence of HPV in the mouth is a serious risk factor for oral cancer. Early testing detection is important as the beginning stages of oral HPV often do not exhibit any clinical signs or symptoms. The OralHPV test allows us to test for the presence of HPV in the oral cavity to determine risk and allows us to monitor conditions and refer if necessary.