The Specialist

Laser therapy can make your dental cleaning more effective

In The Bahamas, periodontal disease is an epidemic. Since gum diseases affect almost 80 percent of adults, it has become increasingly important to find more effective ways to reduce bacterial growth and infections in the mouth and gums.

In this column, I address laser bacterial reduction therapy (LBRT) – a non-invasive, painless, yet effective approach to dental cleanings and gum treatment.

LBRT is a non-invasive method of killing bacteria in the mouth and gums. This procedure uses a diode laser during a routine cleaning visit by the hygienist or dentist. LBRT is done without the use of a needle or numbing agent; therefore, it is absolutely painless. The laser light is directed around each tooth at the gum line and it kills harmful bacteria in the mouth and under the gums. This treatment is highly effective for difficult to treat bacteria in the mouth and some deep gum pockets.

LBRT only takes five to 10 minutes just before a cleaning. Almost all patients, even those that are not suffering from periodontal disease, can benefit from LBRT. Most gums experience some bleeding or irritation from a normal cleaning, so using the laser as a routine part of a regular dental visit can protect the mouth from potential infections. It is a great companion to scaling/root planing and basic cleanings. Studies show, over the long-term, the use of LBRT in dental cleanings, when used as a supplement for the basic treatment of periodontal disease, can improve the overall health of teeth and gums and give the immune system a boost.

This state-of-the-art approach to dental cleanings and scalings is important because there are many studies linking periodontal disease to the real possibilities of heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and strokes. This is due to the inflammation caused by bacteria, which invade the pockets in the gums around the teeth. These pockets can be an attractive environment for bacteria to build a colony. As the colony expands into billions of bacteria, they cause inflammation and eventually enter the blood stream creating systemic problems. These germs growing in the periodontal environment can even be inhaled, affecting your lungs. Our immune system is designed to deal with these attacks, but with the stress and strain of modern life, our immune system can be compromised.

We can help to protect ourselves and boost our immune system with good basic hygiene, including: regular brushing and flossing, visits to your dentist for check-ups, and cleanings. That said, this is just a start. With the use of LBRT as a special treatment to directly destroy the bacteria responsible for gum and systemic infections, your chances of enjoying improved dental and medical health is vastly improved. This advanced treatment is a good investment in your dental health and wellness.

• 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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