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Gum Disease

Dental Health: Laser Use in Dentistry

by admin on March 14, 2009

Laser technology had entered the field of dentistry by 1994 itself. The lasers used for dental treatment are not the cold lasers, which are used for treating inflammation, headache, and pain, and also used in phototherapy. Though it is useful in treating many dental problems, laser is yet to be fully accepted by the American Dental Association. The treatment mode does have FDA’s acceptance, but not that of ADA, whose standards appear to be more exacting. ADA is still not fully convinced of the efficacy and safety of using lasers for dental treatment.

However, the technology is being used by some in treating the following problems:

  • Tooth decay. Lasers are useful in removing the decayed portion from the tooth and readying the remaining enamel for the fresh filling. It is also useful in hardening the filling.
  • Gum problems. For removing bacteria during a root canal treatment, and reshaping gums, lasers are useful.
  • Biopsy. For removing a lesion, or any tissue from the mouth, lasers are used. Tissue removal sometimes becomes necessary for cancer testing. Lasers are also effective in the treatment of mouth ulcers.
  • Teeth whitening. Some teeth whitening procedures nowadays employ lasers. Whitening is basically done by the application of a bleaching solution on the surface of the teeth, but the action of this peroxide solution is enhanced by employing lasers.

The Working of Lasers

All forms of laser appear as light and provide energy in the way in which it is required for different operations. When used for hardening the tooth filling, the laser binds together the filling and the tooth. During teeth whitening, it acts as a source of heat which increases the activity of the whitening agents. In surgical use, sometimes it functions as a vaporizer for annihilating tissues. At other times it functions as a cutting implement.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Lasers

Advantages

Lasers have the following advantages over the conventional dental drill:

  • It is often less painful and so reduces the need for administering anesthesia.
  • Some people are afraid of the conventional drill. They are more at ease with lasers.
  • When soft tissue is to be handled, lasers lessen swelling and bleeding.
  • During cavity treatment, lasers help to retain more of the tooth that is in tact.

Disadvantages

Lasers have the following drawbacks:

  • When a tooth has already got a filling, it is not possible to use a laser there.
  • The treatments for which lasers can be used are very limited. They can’t be maneuvered around cavities which are between two teeth or bigger cavities that need to be fitted with a crown. Nor can they be used where there are old fillings, or to remove silver fillings, or with damaged crowns. Laser technology is also not helpful in preparing teeth for receiving bridges.
  • Even where a laser is utilized, the conventional drill is still required for bite adjustment, and for shaping and polishing the filling.
  • Though laser could reduce the need for administration of anesthesia, it cannot eliminate it totally.
  • Above all, the treatment does not come cheap. As against a conventional drill that may cost about $600, lasers may cost anything from $39000 to $45000.

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8 Causes of Bleeding Gums

by admin on January 11, 2009

Bleeding gums can be extremely discomforting physically and mentally. It is important that a person understands that gums that bleed signify a problem and that needs to be addressed to heal your gums and stop gum bleeding.


Let’s take a look at the eight possible causes of gum bleeding.

Gum disease: This is the most common cause for bleeding gums. The initial stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis in which gums become swollen and tender. These bleed upon touch especially during actions such as brushing or eating. Gum disease also known as Periodontal disease occurs due to accumulation of plaque which irritates the gums. If gum disease is not treated initially, it progresses to Periodontitis and finally tooth loss.

Vigorous brushing: Brushing with toothpaste is abrasive in nature. Overzealous brushing does more harm than good to the teeth. In rare cases, overzealous brushing can also cause the gums to bleed but getting healthy gums to bleed by vigorous brushing is rare.


Smoking or chewing tobacco
: Smokers tend to have more calculus (Tartar) on their teeth than non-smokers which causes gum disease. The other reason being the irritating effect of tobacco on the gums.

Hormones: Hormone receptors are embedded in gum tissue. If certain hormone levels rise above their normal level, they can cause increase of fluid level in the gum tissue causing them to become red, tender and swollen. These become normal as soon as the hormone levels become normal.

Vitamin K deficiency: Vitamin K is an important factor in the process of blood clotting and its deficiency can cause gums to bleed.

Autoimmune disorders: Autoimmune disorders are disorders in which body’s own immune system damages its own cells. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthiritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are a few autoimmune disorders which can cause bleeding gums.

Leukemia: Leukemia is the cancer of bone marrow and white blood cells and one of its characteristic features is bleeding gums.

Drugs: Some drugs such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, nasal sprays and anticoagulants may have the tendency to cause bleeding gums.

It is often found that patient with bleeding gums suffers from some degree of gum disease. So, if you experience bleeding gums, visit a Periodontist (dentist who specializes in treatment of gum disease) or your dentist who will determine the course of action.

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Gum Disease

September 28, 2008

Gum Disease or Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bones supporting the teeth. The word “Periodontal” means “around the tooth” when taken in literal terms. Gum disease can be confined to a single tooth or infect many teeth. Gum disease actually initiates due to the irritation of the gum by the sticky […]

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