How Laser Therapy Treats Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis, also simply called gum disease, can happen easily and quickly if bacteria in the mouth is left to its own device. When a sticky film of plaque begins to form on teeth, it is mostly composed of bacteria. The mouth contains 500 to 1,000 different types of bacteria, some helpful and some not so much.
If the bad bacteria is left untreated—for example, by not flossing and brushing regularly, plaque continues to build up and can turn into tartar and gingivitis, as well as the more serious periodontal disease. Unfortunately, many people begin to have symptoms of gum disease before they even realize that they have it, especially if they are not visiting a dentist regularly.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease can include, but are not limited to the following:
- swollen or puffy gums
- bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
- gums that feel tender when touched
- gums that bleed easily
- pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
- spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
- bad breath
- pus between your teeth and gums
- loose teeth or loss of teeth
- painful chewing
- new spaces developing between your teeth
- gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
There are several treatment options out there for those with periodontitis The treatment options range from non-surgical, less invasive treatments such as taking antibiotics or root planing — to more invasive treatments such as surgery.
Laser treatment is considered one of the least invasive options and there are numerous benefits to choosing laser over another in order to treat periodontal disease.
Can laser help treat my gum disease?
The use of a laser in the treatment of gum disease has been around for over two decades and has been evolving ever since. Being that laser treatment has such a developed history in the world of dentistry, opinions vary when it comes to which treatment method serves as the most effective. Some experts believe that the efficacy of choosing laser treatment over other treatment options is much more effective, less invasive, and less time-consuming than that of other treatment options.
Each patient is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and not all cases of periodontitis are identical. For some, the benefits of going through laser treatment outweigh the benefits from other treatment options.
At our practice, we make it a point to first provide each of our patients with a thorough evaluation. It is important to fully assess each dental situation before moving further ahead. Then, once we have gathered all the pertinent information we need, we offer treatment options that are specific to the patient’s case. Next, we educate our patients on all the options we find are viable for them and their personal situation. Why? We want each of our patient’s to independently make the most educated and appropriate decision that will suit their lifestyle and needs. Finally, our patient has made their decision and they are on the road to perfecting their smile.
What are the benefits of laser dentistry treatment?
Once we confirm that a patient needs treatment for gum disease and their options are discussed, it is up to them to make an informed decision. Below, we’ve provided a list of benefits offered by laser treatment to aid in the decision making process.
The benefits of laser dentistry treatment include, but are not limited to the following:
- reduced anxiety in patients
- minimally invasive
- eliminated drill noise
- eliminated noisy ultrasonic instruments
- reduced bleeding
- no general anesthesia is needed
- preserves healthy parts of teeth
- sealed periodontal pockets
- reduced gum trauma
- reduced or eliminated tooth loss
- minimized swelling during treatment
- faster healing time
Certain individuals may see some of these benefits and believe that laser treatment is the right option for them; and certain periodontists may have the professional opinion that the procedure will be effective for their patients’ individualized needs.
How does laser periodontal therapy treat gum disease?
Like with all procedures, patients are typically eager to understand the process.
A laser gives off a quite powerful beam of infrared radiation. When this light penetrates materials, such as in the mouth, the high energy breaks up and removes the diseased portions. This is precisely how the laser serves to do away with the gum disease.
The experts at Colgate describe the actual laser procedure in more detail:
“In periodontal laser therapy, the provider uses a dental laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. When the infected tissue is removed and the root is exposed, the root scaling begins. This involves scraping off the calculus and plaque build-up below the gum line and around the root. The dentist then smooths the root with instruments to remove any rough spots that might attract bacteria and cause future infections. The area between the gum and the root can then regenerate during the healing process.”
Following the procedure, there will definitely be aftercare instructions and checkups with the periodontist. The patient will need to follow directives to allow healing and to ensure that they do not get gum disease once again. By not heeding professional advice, patients could experience unwanted setbacks and the consequences could be greater the next time around.
Despite there being multiple ways to prevent gum disease, in some cases the development is inevitable. Genetic predisposition puts even the most careful at risk. Thankfully, however, great strides have been made in the field of periodontology throughout the years. In addition, credible research and new technology continue to present themselves. Never fear when faced with a dental issue such as the possibility of gum disease. Early detection is the best form of protection. Schedule an appointment with us, as soon as possible, and we will take every measure in getting you on the road to smile recovery.