Treating Gum Disease with Laser Technology
Gum disease, or periodontal disease as your dentist may call it, is a serious oral health issue prevalent among adults over the age of 30. It can cause irreversible damage to the gums, teeth, and even the jaw bone. However, despite the destruction gum disease can cause, treatment is often very effective and can begin to heal the infected, irritated tissue quickly.
Due to the prevalence of gum disease and the damage it can cause, dentistry professionals are always advancing their treatment methods and taking advantage of the latest in dental technology. Laser technology in dentistry is a great example of how modern dentistry technology has improved the patient experience during gum disease treatment.
Let’s dive into why gum disease treatment is crucial and how dental laser treatment directly benefits your smile.
What does gum disease do to my smile?
Gum disease is a multi-stage oral disease with two primary phases.
Phase 1: Gingivitis
The initial phase is gingivitis, which is a state of chronic gum inflammation or irritation. Gingivitis is a precursor to gum disease, but is typically considered to be its own oral health disease. That means that gingivitis doesn’t always advance to gum disease, but every case of gum disease starts out at gingivitis.
Phase 2: Periodontal Disease
The second phase is periodontal disease, which has three stages broken down by severity. There is early or mild periodontitis, moderate periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. The term periodontitis refers to the gum being inflamed and infected.
Gum disease is a relatively silent disease. It can develop rapidly but without showing obvious symptoms until an active infection causes pain. This is why it’s important to be aware of how your gums look and feel, and be especially vigilant of any tenderness or light bleeding while flossing. Seeing your dentist every six months will ensure even the earliest warning signs of trouble will be spotted.
Why is gum disease treatment important?
Just like a cavity in a tooth, gum disease can’t be treated at home by simply brushing more often or changing your oral care products. You’ll need the help of a skilled dentist experienced in periodontal therapy to reverse your gingivitis or treat your periodontitis.
Seeking out treatment right away is crucial, especially if your symptoms suggest periodontitis or you’ve already been diagnosed with periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause permanent damage to your smile that will require future restorative or cosmetic dentistry to resolve. The sooner you get treatment started, the less damage your teeth and gums will sustain.
When periodontitis isn’t treated, it can lead to receding gums, loss of gum tissue, loss of teeth, abscesses, and bone loss in the jaw. Once periodontitis has reached a moderate level, damage can develop rapidly.
What are the advantages of laser therapy for gum disease?
You know swift treatment is important for conquering your gum disease, but how does laser dentistry fit into the equation?
Dental lasers are used for all sorts of different procedures and treatment plans, from tooth decay removal to dental implant surgery. Soft-tissue lasers, like the KaVo dental laser used by Dr. Lang, are perfect for the treatment of gum disease. They can help reshape your gums, remove damaged or infected tissue, and help in future restorative work you might need post-periodontitis.
Dental lasers are highly effective tools that provide 5 awesome benefits for patients.
1. Lower Risks of Infection
Dental lasers provide a more sterile treatment with a reduced risk of bacterial infection. Firstly, lasers are inherently sterile and the laser beam itself sterilizes as it cauterizes. Secondly, dental lasers are versatile and can perform multiple functions. This eliminates the need for multiple tools, thereby also reducing the possibility of bacteria being introduced during treatment.
2. Reduces Recovery Time
As powerful as dental lasers are, they’re also exceptionally gentle when compared to scalpels and similar traditional tools. They are kinder to soft tissues since they cauterize and allow for expert precision. Laser treatment results in less swelling, less bleeding, and an overall faster healing time.
3. Enhances Patient Comfort
Laser gum treatment will keep you comfortable during and after your appointment. The KaVo laser is quiet, unobtrusive, and allows your dentist to work more efficiently than with traditional tools. You’ll be able to feel more relaxed in your dentist’s chair and your visit will be over before you know it.
4. Protects the Surrounding Area
The precision capability with a dental laser is impressive! Your dentist will only “touch” the area of your gum that needs treatment. This precision protects your teeth from accidental damage and ensures that surrounding healthy gums remain untouched.
5. Customized to Patient Needs
Dental lasers can be tailored to fit your needs based on the stage of periodontal disease you have and the extent of the damage already present. Your dentist is able to adjust the power and wavelength, having completely customized control over the entire treatment process.
How do I know if laser therapy will work for my gum disease?
If you have any level of periodontal disease, Dr. Lang will likely recommend laser therapy as a treatment option. During your initial examination and consultation, Dr. Lang will take a look at your smile, diagnose your gum disease stage, and begin developing a treatment plan. He’ll also discuss how treatment will work and what tools may be used, such as the KaVo dental laser.
You can schedule an appointment or consultation today by calling our Middletown, OH, office or requesting a visit online.