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Laser and Bacterial Reduction

Throughout the last decades, it has been well-recognized and understood that most periodontal diseases are infections caused by microorganisms, especially bacteria. These microorganisms (pathogens) colonize the tooth surface at or below the gingival margin and are organized in entities called biofilms.

Protocol used to treat such periodontal infections is scaling and root planing. Sometimes, however, pathogenic subgingival bacteria are difficult to eliminate, and despite repeated treatment sessions, they grow back and repopulate the periodontal pocket. These microorganisms usually belong to specific groups such as Porphyromonas gingivalis. Bacteroides forsythus, and Treponema denticola, which are considered strongly related to periodontal diseases. Clinically, the result of this chronic infection is the progressive destruction of the periodontium and tooth loss. In addition to the bacterial flora, inadequate oral hygiene habits allowing accumulation of plaque on the tooth surface, the genetic component of the individual, the use of tobacco (smokers), and some systemic diseases all are considered risk factors for periodontal disease and can have a detrimental effect on the treatment outcome or change the course of the disease for the worse.

The source of the infecting pathogens for any given individual is usually unknown, although transfer from parents or persons of physical contact is thought to play a primary role. The treatment of these infections is complex and usually consists of physical, antimicrobial, and ecological approaches.

The use of laser light as a new modality of anti-infective approach to treat biofilm/plaque-induced periodontal diseases. The laser light is used in this context as a complement to the routine techniques of treating periodontal diseases, with the objective of eliminating periodontal pathogens through its antibacterial property and promoting the return of the periodontium to a state of health through its anti-inflammatory effect.

The laser light application as an adjunct to soft-tissue management in dentistry has seen an improvement in recent years.

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