To start off we need to discuss what is periodontal disease? When you receive this diagnosis, unfortunately there is no cure. However, we can stop the disease from progressing and we can stop the bone loss from getting worse. In result we will save your teeth, your smile, and your overall health. Periodontal disease is a disease in the tissue and the bone that hold your teeth in their spot. It’s more advanced than an infection. If we caught this in the infectious stages, we’d call it gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversable. Some overall risk factors for periodontal disease are: poor oral hygiene, chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases, smoking, and avoiding the dentist for many years. This causes tartar build up to migrate underneath the gum tissue. When it goes below the gumline this tartar releases toxins that cause the bone and gum tissue to resorb. These toxins are also now flowing through the bloodstream. Periodontal disease can also affect your heart as well. We know now as dental professionals our mouths are an open portal to our whole body. We cannot just clean up the mess, we need to kill the bacteria causing all of this in the process. That is where our lasers come in.
The first line of defense when treating periodontal disease is removing all of the tartar. We do that by performing scaling and root planing. This is also considered a “deep cleaning” Your hygienist or doctor will get you numb and clean below the gum line. They use this using small instruments below the gums to remove the hardened tartar from the root surface. These small instruments do not damage the gum tissue. There is some bleeding and some discomfort during the treatment, that is why you will be numb. After the treatment there is little to no pain and you can carry on with regular activities.
The second line of defense is the laser therapy to kill the bacteria in the base of the pockets. Now that we’ve removed the tartar we need to kill the remaining bacteria in the pockets. The hygienist or doctor will use the laser to go into the pocket and kill the bacteria. Without using this laser there’s a very high chance you will need to repeat the scaling and root planing or deep cleaning more often. Ideally you should only need to complete this periodontal therapy once in a lifetime. Some offices do not offer this periodontal laser therapy. That is what sets us apart from other offices! Some benefits of the laser are: shorter recovery period, no need for general anesthesia, the disease can be targeted and stopped immediately, and theirs is less bleeding and pain because it is less invasive.
After this treatment it is imperative that you keep up with maintenance cleanings every 3 months. Immediately after treatment you should avoid extremely hot and/or spicy foods. I would also recommend avoiding crunchy foods. It’s important to continue to brush 2-3 times a day and flossing at least once a day. You may also want to start using a non-alcohol fluoride rinse. These are simple daily things to help you heal. We want to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. With a healthy mouth you will have a healthy body!
We can and will submit all of this to your insurance. It’s not a guarantee of payment, but we do try to explain to the insurance the need for this therapy. It can be overwhelming, but as an office we understand the seriousness of this disease. There is a complete link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Left untreated you are at a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. We are here to help heal you in many ways. This a service not many dental offices offer, but her at Dentart Chicago, we strive to go above and beyond to keep you and your smile healthy!