A Non-Surgical Treatment for Gum Disease with Laser Therapy
At last, there is a non-surgical treatment for gum disease. And it comes from an interesting new application of laser technology, we will explain how this works and what it can do for you, but first let’s take a look at Gum Disease.
Before 30 years of age, decay is the major reason for tooth loss but after 30, gum disease becomes the major reason. It’s estimated that over 80% of the adult population has gum disease to some degree.
Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth.
In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Traditional periodontal surgery involves cutting and suturing (stiching) of the gums and recovery time can be long and painful. Thanks to modern laser technology, there is an alternative.
With proper home care and conscious patient participation, most patients with very deep pockets can experience improvement. We go into your pockets and remove any debris and hard deposits that are adhering to your teeth. This can be compared with removing barnacles from a pier. It will remove the mechanical irritant to your gums and bone and gets rid of a major reservoir of bacteria. This tartar or calculus that our hygiene team will remove for you is like a barracks for gum disease bacteria.
Today, there are known correlations between gum disease and heart, kidney and liver disease.
After removing the tarter and calculus we will use a laser to selectively remove diseased, infected tissue around your teeth. This laser selectively targets only the problem tissue and leaves health tissue alone. At the same time the laser will sterilize your gums and stimulate them to heal, and help revive or rejuvenate your gum attachment.
Your insurance normally picks up about half the cost of Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy program, which we will collect over the four-week appointment period. If this treatment does not work we can still refer you to our periodontist for surgical treatment. Chances are very high that it will work great, but that’s our backup plan.