The Specialist

Advances in gum disease treatment

Gum disease affects approximately 80 percent of adults. Treating these conditions range from a simple cleaning of gingivitis to laser gum surgery in advanced cases. If left untreated, majority of adults will lose their teeth by age 70.

With over 32 years of dental practice, the treatment of advanced gum disease focuses on scaling and root planing, followed by pocket elimination procedures. The pocket is the environment that houses millions of destructive bacteria.

Today, with innovative dentistry, we can predictably treat simple and advanced cases with conservative and minimally invasive therapy. As a result, patients do not have to face surgeries but can now save their teeth and improve their general health with painless and non-invasive treatment.

Two innovations with respect to treatment choices are the tray delivery system (Perio Protect) and laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP).

Gum disease begins as plaque colonies on the teeth that creep below the gum. This causes a pocket to form, causing bone loss, then early loss of teeth. These pockets increase in depth becoming a breeding ground for larger colonies of plaque.

The inflammation results in bleeding, soreness, abscess, bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

These colonies eventually break off into smaller pieces and travel through blood vessels causing damage to other organs. The bacteria in these colonies are linked to diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers and pre-term low birth weight babies.

The tray delivery periodontal system is innovative in that it provides a gel form of peroxide to be placed directly into the pockets; thereby killing the bacteria located deep within the pockets. This is precisely the source of the infection. Patients now have an additional partner in the fight against gum disease. Since it is non-invasive, it can be used repeatedly. The Perio Protect method is the treatment used in my dental practice. The results are remarkable and our patients appreciate this conservative choice.

How it works

The tray delivery system is prescribed by the doctor and applied by the patient at home. Patients are given custom trays. A small amount of the gel is placed in the tray, then placed snugly into the mouth. A low concentration of hydrogen peroxide gently and thoroughly cleanses the periodontal pockets, combatting bacteria, whitening your teeth and freshening your breath.

While there is no “cure” for gum disease, it can be managed with daily treatment to prevent bacteria from recolonizing. When the desired results have been achieved, your dentist will revise your treatment plan to maintain the results.

The tray delivery method is an appealing, minimally invasive option for advanced periodontitis and early-stage gum disease.

Laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP)

LANAP is an innovative laser alternative to gum surgery for patients plagued by gum disease. If you are committed to the preservation of your health and to the prevention of the infection getting worse, then there is hope with this conservative yet effective treatment.

Laser-assisted procedures offer a more effective gum disease treatment option compared to conventional surgery. It achieves regeneration by sterilizing the infected gum tissues, destroying bacteria and helping healthy gums to reattach to the teeth. The procedure is actually the only treatment proven to achieve true periodontal regeneration; thereby enhancing and restoring the health of your gums.

Fortunately, laser technology now makes it possible to perform more frequently preventive surgery in all medical fields. Compared to surgery, when you use laser-assisted procedures for your periodontal disease treatment, there is significantly less pain, bleeding, sensitivity, gum loss, swelling and downtime. Best news of all, you know that your gum tissues are actually rebuilding and healing.

The future in gum disease treatment is promising. Innovative dentistry and unique skills enable dentists to meet the individual needs of our patients. Thanks to these innovations, gum treatments are now less invasive, less painful, and most importantly more effective in managing periodontal disease in our community.

Dr. Kendal V.O. Major is the founder and CEO of the Center for Specialized Dentistry, which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in New Providence and Grand Bahama. He is the first Bahamian specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He is also a certified fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, New Providence. He can be contacted at (242) 325-5165 or 

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