Midwest Integrative Dentistry

Gum Disease

Gum Disease is also called Periodontal Disease. Gum disease is a degenerative disease with adverse relationships to heart disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and stroke. Most people go to their dentist to have their teeth cleaned and, sadly most dentist and hygienist may not do probing for gum pockets on a yearly basis. A gum pocket is the distance between the gum and tooth. It should not bleed on probing or be deeper than 3 mm in depth then the conclusion is a pocket is forming. Without probing, it is impossible to tell if one is present. When the area bleed, organisms get into the blood stream and the rest of the body is exposed to the organisms which then contribute to adverse health issues. 

For decades, gum disease has been diagnosed and treated in various ways. They may be:

  • No periodic cleaning or checkups: no idea if there is a problem.  
  • Periodic routine cleaning but no probing: false sense of security
  • Routine cleaning with correct and accurate probing: now judgements can be made and they can be:

                 . If there are pockets continue as before, monitor, and accept the risk

                 . Be pro-active but conservative and irrigate daily with a special attachment on a “water pick like device” to clean out                      or flush the pockets.  The defect or garbage can is still there. Compliance is difficult to maintain but if it is done                            properly, it can be effective. This is the basis, with microscope verification and monitoring for the presence or lack                        of organisms.

                 . Refer to a Periodontist for periodontal surgery where the pocket is decreased by surgically gutting away the gum or                      changing the depth of pocket in some way, usually with a knife. It generally results in a lot of pain and discomfort                          and afterword and sensitive teeth. There is suturing, pain and swelling and long healing. Prognosis is only for 5 years                    and that is with excellent home care habits.   

                 . LANAP: see below 

LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure)  is a proven way of resolving the pockets, eliminating the defect, re-attaching  the gum to the tooth and sterilizing the mouth and gums with no sutures,  and surprising little, if any, pain &/or swelling .  This is why we say