Most conditions that dentists treat and must keep an eye out for result in the degeneration of dental tissue, whether that is tooth decay eating away at your enamel or gum disease causing your gums to recede or become infected. Unfortunately, dentists usually have to substantially alter patients’ mouths in order to treat these conditions, such as drilling and filling cavities or using lasers to essentially burn away inflamed gum tissue.While we cannot simply regrow lost adult teeth there are moves being made to heal what we do have. One researcher is using lasers, typically known for their ability to cut soft and hard tissue, to heal otherwise difficult to treat dental tissues.
Lasers and Your Mouth
Dr. Praveen Arany from the University of Buffalo has been using photobiomodulation to trigger the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Small amounts of ROS are integral to the activation of the common growth factor beta by amino acids in your cells. This, in turn, promotes regeneration of dental tissues.
There are many different applications for the use of these lasers. Initially, Dr. Arany had some success using photobiomodulation to heal extraction wound sockets. He has also found that these lasers can activate the healing factors found in our dental pulp. Dr. Arany and his team plan on using this for two different applications in regards to the pulp. The first would be the healing of large dental cavities where the pulp has become exposed. These large cavities are normally treated with root canals which can be unfortunately uncomfortable.
The second application is in the treatment of sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth occur when the dentin becomes exposed due to eroded enamel. The dentin contains many little tubes that run into the pulp, and exposure to fluctuations in temperature can cause pain and discomfort. Sensitive teeth are normally treated extrinsically through the use of specialized toothpastes or other heavy metal salt treatment which can wear away through brushing and eating. Photobiomodulation allows for this condition to be treated intrinsically through the body’s natural healing factor.
Still a Ways Off
Unfortunately, while showing early signs of being a viable treatment for various oral health conditions, there is still a lot of testing that needs to be done. With that being said, there are many things that you can do today to keep your teeth and gums healthy such as brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, and regularly visiting your dentist. If you are looking for a great dentist in Rockland County, consider visiting with Dr. Dunayer and the team at B&D Dental Excellence in West Nyack. Give us a call at