Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease. Bleeding when brushing is a sign of this, as are inflammation and tenderness. A small probe will be entered between the tooth and gums to measure the depth of any pockets that may be present. We provide periodontal probing at your regular dental cleaning appointments.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease must be treated to prevent further destruction of teeth, gums, and bone, and to stop tooth loss. Depending on the extent of the disease, a deep cleaning and scaling will be suggested and will typically be done with a local numbing agent.
When the buildup has been removed from below the gum line, the tissue will heal over time and come back stronger. This means the pockets will get smaller.
Laser periodontal therapy offers a proven, vastly less painful and less invasive treatment alternative to conventional scalpel / suture flap surgery for gum disease. See the section for Laser Gum Therapy for more information.
Follow-up appointments will be recommended to keep an eye on your healing progress. If improvement is not seen over time, a visit to a periodontal specialist may be in order.
Medicated rinses, consistent flossing, and the use of an electric toothbrush are some of the home treatments we recommend.
What is LANAP (laser-assisted new attachment procedure)?
Laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) is a patented therapy designed for the treatment of periodontitis. This therapy and the laser used to perform it have been in use for more than a decade. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the LANAP protocol for the treatment of periodontitis, or gum disease, in 2004.
Laser periodontal therapy offers a proven, vastly less painful and less invasive treatment alternative to conventional scalpel / suture flap surgery for gum disease. This technology provides a simple and comfortable patient experience with excellent clinical results. By removing their fear, the dental community has the opportunity to bring patients back to seek treatment for their gum disease.
How is this laser therapy treatment performed?
After your teeth and gums are totally numb, a small laser fiber is inserted into the space between your tooth and gums. The energy from this laser light kills the bacteria causing the gum disease and selectively removes only the diseased tissue to leave behind healthy gum tissue.
An ultrasonic cleaning instrument is used to remove the tartar from the root and tooth surfaces, washing away the debris with a steady flow of medicated solution.
Finally, the laser is again passed around the gum tissue to form a natural bandage around the teeth to seal them from reinfection.
With the gum tissue completely numb, the treatment is essentially pain-free – as is the recovery period. Traditional periodontal surgery with scalpels and sutures can often lead to a recovery period that can be quite uncomfortable. In addition, 98% of laser-treated patients have no further disease progression after five years. It's estimated only 5% reportedly have no further disease progression after traditional gum surgery.
Is having gum disease really dangerous?
ABSOLUTELY. Periodontal disease is one of the biggest sleeper issues in dentistry. For patients who go undiagnosed or untreated, the effects can be debilitating. Unfortunately, the disease’s hidden risks often go undetected until it’s too late.
A chronic disease that can deteriorate the gums and the bones that support the teeth, periodontal disease is caused primarily by plaque – the sticky substance that forms on teeth and is full of harmful bacteria – but can also be triggered by factors like smoking, pregnancy, genetic predisposition, stress, medications like antidepressants and oral contraceptives, teeth grinding, diabetes, poor nutrition, and other systemic diseases.
Recent research suggests a stronger link than ever between physical and oral health. It’s important for patients, their physicians, and their general dentists to know what to look for and how it can affect overall health.
For more on how dangerous gum disease can be, watch this video
by famous performer Whoopi Goldberg.