A new technology is gaining popularity among dentists who treat periodontal disease, a common impediment to dental health that has been associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and pneumonia.
Though dentists have traditionally treated the condition by surgically removing the diseased gum, they are increasingly likely to thwart the disease by performing laser surgery, News 8 Austin reports.
PerioLase, the laser technology that was approved by the FDA in 2001, was designed to kill bacteria between teeth, remove tartar and foster the growth of cementum cells which helps reattach the roots of teeth to bone.
However, because of the $70,000 investment needed for PerioLase equipment and reluctance among some dentists and patients, laser surgery is yet to become a standard gum disease treatment.
Dr Robert Yu, a periodontist from St Petersburg, Florida, told the news source, "I would say that the traditional surgeries are not obsolete."
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues supporting teeth that occurs just below the gum line. Though bleeding, red or swollen gums usually accompany the condition, it's possible to have the disease without any symptoms.
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