- December 28, 2009
COLLEGEVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA, PA – Your gums could be killing you.
The truth is that chronic oral inflammatory disease- or periodontal disease- can do more than cause tooth loss, said Collegeville Periodontist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo. It can kill you.
It is estimated that almost 75 percent of Americans suffer from any of a number periodontal disease forms and aren’t even aware of it, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
“Millions of Americans have loose teeth, bleeding gums, sore teeth, bad breath and shifting teeth, and all of these things are signs of periodontal disease,” said DiGiallorenzo, a Collegeville, PA dental implants specialist. “What’s particularly alarming is that only about three percent will receive treatment.”
The majority of people go undiagnosed as a result of not routinely visiting a dentist and not having a full periodontal probing and full set of X-rays. Of those who do get diagnosed, they frequently don’t follow through with treatment because gum disease typically doesn’t hurt and either they ignore recommendations, or they are under-treated, he said.
“There is this erroneous belief among many people that they don’t need to seek dental treatment until they are in pain, when the truth is that identifying the problems before they are painful and have the potential to lead to tooth loss is a much more prudent approach,” DiGiallorenzo said.
Others prolong treatment because they fear the treatment itself will be painful. That’s another misconception, now that laser periodontal treatment is available.
DiGiallorenzo is the only periodontist in the Delaware Valley who offers the laser-assisted new attachment procedure commonly referred to as LANAP. Earlier this year, he purchased the PerioLase laser. This surgical alternative is U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved and offers a quicker, pain-free treatment.
Traditional surgical treatment required DiGiallorenzo to cut into the patient’s gums and peel them back from the teeth so the teeth could be scraped clean of plaque. Then he would fold the gum back down and suture it so it could heal.
“The pain after this procedure is pretty intense and uncomfortable,” he said.
The laser technology in LANAP means no cutting, no suturing and no pain. It enables DiGiallorenzo to target only diseased and damaged tissue and avoid healthy areas. Tartar is removed from the root surfaces of the patient’s teeth using small instruments and an ultrasonic scaler. The laser gently removes the diseased tissue and also reduces the related bacteria in the area.
“The laser cleans the area, plaque is removed, and the gums are sealed,” DiGiallorenzo said. “Most patients have absolutely no pain and continue with their daily lives the same day.”
LANAP also promotes pocket depth reduction, which can help keep periodontal disease at bay.
Dangers of Gum Disease
Gum disease is not something to be taken lightly. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack. There also is an increasing amount of research that points to a connection between gum disease and diabetes, oral cancer, respiratory conditions and premature, low birth-weight babies, according to the ADHA Web site.
“Because there is so much evidence out there that periodontal disease can lead to more life-threatening diseases, it is more important than ever for people to maintain routine dental visits,” DiGiallorenzo said. “It’s abundantly clear that what you don’t know can hurt you. Periodontal disease could lead to more serious illnesses and even death in some cases.”
PerioLase is designed by Millennium Dental Technologies precisely for laser periodontal therapy and other procedures related to the soft tissue. It is the first dentistry laser to use digital technology for better reliability and performance, according to the company’s Web site. About 1,100 practitioners nationwide use this system.
In 2002, the FDA approved the PerioLase for use.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of PerioLase, you would like more information on periodontal disease, or you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. David Digiallorenzo, please call 610-228-4366 in Collegeville; 570-505-6908 in Williamsport; or visit his Web site: http://www.perioimplants.us/.
About Dr. David Digiallorenzo
DiGiallorenzo is one of the only Collegeville periodontists who graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1993 and completed a specialty in periodontics and dental implantology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.
He is a past associate clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics. He teaches nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to dental literature.
Dr. D’s private practice in suburban Philadelphia concentrates on periodontics, dental implantology, advanced reconstructive case management and TMJ treatment. It is a unique dental spa with two full-time massage therapists that specialize in reflexology, reiki, massage, aromatherapy and homeopathy. This combination creates a relaxed, optimal healing response.
Dr. D has two office locations: 184 W. Main St., Ste. 200, in Collegeville, PA; and 121 E. Fourth St. in Williamsport, PA.
© 2009 Sinai Marketing and Dr. David Digiallorenzo.