Periodontal Disease

What It Is

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that affects both the gum and the jaw bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, progression of this disease can lead to tooth loss. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates that 47.2% of the US population over the age of 30 have either mild, moderate or severe periodontal disease and in adults 65 and older, the prevalence rate increases to 70.1 percent. Of concern is that periodontal disease shares links with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory issues to name just a few. In other words, the disease in your gums can contribute to problems not only in your jaw but also the rest of your body. In some cases, successful treatment of your gum condition can substantially improve your overall health. Furthermore, by enhancing the health of your gums and teeth, you can avoid the problems that tooth loss brings like the need to wear partial or full dentures, a poorer ability to eat, poorer nutrition and diminished self esteem.

Warning signs include:

  • Gums that bleed
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together (your bite)
  • Change in the fit of your partial dentures

Treatment Approaches

Non-Surgical Therapy

Periodontal disease can be managed in a variety of ways depending on the nature and severity of this problem along with modifying factors such as a patient’s systemic health and stress. Once periodontitis has progressed, bone loss may be irreversible leaving spaces and pockets between the tooth and gum which require special cleaning beyond routine annual or semi-annual cleanings along with mechanical devices and local agents that are specifically designed to maintain any improvements in health that are achieved with care. The literature clearly shows that experience level matters when treating periodontal disease with a nonsurgical approach and this is why your treatment in our office is with a board certified periodontist.

Surgical Therapy
More advanced periodontal disease may require surgical procedures to arrest its progression and return your mouth to a state of health, comfort and function. Advances in treatments to rebuild the lost bone and soft tissue by regenerative procedures can be recommended. Dr. Rosen and his staff are well versed in the latest technological advances in the treatments for periodontal disease which may include growth factors and stem cells.

Regenerative Therapy
This approach to care reconstructs the lost bone and gum tissue lost to the disease process along with the supporting attachment to the tooth. Yes, you have read that correctly. Advances in science and technology are now allowing us to grow back the support for your teeth with stem cells and growth factors. While this approach does involve a minimally invasive surgical procedure there is no pain experienced during the treatment and following the care, any discomfort is easily managed in many instances by non-narcotic medication.

Laser-Assisted Periodontal Therapy (Including LANAP®)
Innovation and technology are providing patients with treatment options that can be both less invasive while targeting their disease problems. The Nd:YAG laser, the PerioLase®, has FDA approval and a patented technique for treating periodontal disease known as laser-assisted periodontal therapy in isolated sites or LANAP®  when the approach is throughout the mouth. This form of therapy allows Dr. Rosen to treat your periodontal bone loss with the goal of restoring the lost attachment to the tooth along with growing back some of the lost bone without the need of a scalpel blade or stitches (sutures). The PerioLase®’s particular wavelength can both kill the bacteria associated with periodontal disease while stimulating the body to heal more readily with a regenerative process. Patients tend to prefer this solution due to its minimally invasive nature and lower level of post surgical discomfort as compared to many surgical forms of treatment.