Periodontal disease: a silent killer

One of the most effective ways to treat gum disease is by using an Nd:YAG laser, the Periolase, in a prescribed technique called LANAP.

by Dr. Nick Meyer — 

Periodontal disease is a chronic progressive disease that impacts our health at many levels. The most visible effects are cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and pre-term, low-birth-weight babies. A very sensitive test that is extremely accurate and moderately priced can detect this silent killer. It is called TOPAS, or toxic oral pathology assay.

For the test, a small fluid sample is obtained from your gum tissue. It is mixed with a chemical and is inserted into a colorimeter, just like having your swimming pool pH checked. It is placed in the reader, and a value is obtained. The first reading is for toxicity. Another chemical is added to this mixture and the resulting new mixture is read in the unit. This value is for protein deterioration, or rotting. Between the two, the doctor can tell you the degree of severity of your gum disease.

A similar test is called the Halitox. It measures volatile sulfur compounds that are indicated by bad breath. Once found, the next phase is to determine the cause. You might have gum disease that is causing your gums literally to rot, sight unseen.

One of the most effective ways to treat gum disease is by using an Nd:YAG laser, the Periolase, in a prescribed technique called LANAP. Developed by two doctors in California specifically for the treatment of gum disease, it is the only FDA-approved procedure for treating all types of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a silent killer. Next time you or your loved ones see a dentist for a teeth cleaning or other procedure, ask about periodontal disease.

 

Nicholas Meyer, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Scottsdale, Ariz. He has a special interest in the functional aspects of the oral cavity that contribute to such maladies as TMJ, snoring and sleep apnea. 480-948-0560 or www.milldental.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 2, April/May 2007.

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