Bacteria is normally found in a person’s mouth. However with poor dental hygiene, left over food debris is turned by these bacteria into acids. With the accumulation of these three: food debris, acids and bacteria, dental plaque is formed. If dental plaque is left unremoved, it may turn to tartar and when these combine, they could cause and initiate gum causing inflammation.

Chronic inflammation of gums may lead to periodontal disease. Dental plaque does not only damage the soft tissues (our gums) and bones that support the teeth but mostly the teeth itself. The acid formed in dental plaques can damage the enamel of your teeth and thus create dental cavities (holes on our teeth).

Diagnosis of both dental cavities and periodontal diseases are done during your regular visit to your dentist. Cavities are diagnosed usually with the aid of dental tools and sometimes, dental x-ray is ordered to check for cavities that are not yet visible. Periodontal disease is diagnosed with the use of periodontal probe that measures the depth between the tooth and our gums. Healthy depth is measured 1-3mm while a depth exceeding 3mm signifies a periodontal disease.

Modern dentistry introduces a new way of diagnosing dental cavities and periodontal disease with the use of Diagnodent. Diagnodent is a safe fluorescent laser that detects hidden tooth decay instantly, precisely in its early stage. This device accurately reveals the area where cavities develop without probing, scratching or opening the tooth.

Diagnodent system works by measuring the amount of laser fluorescence within the tooth. As each of the tooth is examined, the amount of reflected laser fluorescence is recorded. A tooth with little to no decay have little to no laser light reflection to the instrument while a tooth with cavities reflects more laser light back to the instrument. The amount of laser light reflection to the instrument correlates with the extent of tooth decay.

In the case of periodontal disease, a Diagnodent perio probe is used. This device also uses laser fluorescence to detect calculus (tartar) concrements in the periodontal sulcus. It is accurate in the detection of sub-gingival calculus deposits and it can also reliably measure the amount of these deposits. This device is also helpful in verifying the process of root planing and scaling procedure.

This two new modern dentistry advancement promotes safe, painless and non-invasive procedure that diagnoses dental cavities and periodontal diseases. You may want to ask your dentist for the availability of this diagnostic examination in his/her dental clinic.