The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly half of American adults over age 30 have some form of gum disease. In its mildest form, called gingivitis, you may experience bad breath and gums that easily bleed. Later stages of the condition can cause receding gums and even tooth loss.
While it’s possible to recover from gingivitis with rigorous oral hygiene at home and at the dentist’s office, periodontitis, the serious form of gum disease, requires more intense professional care.
The team at RR Dentistry in Georgetown, Texas, recommend laser therapy for gum disease as an alternative to traditional periodontal surgery that requires incisions and sutures. Contemporary dental lasers handle the job with several advantages, including patient comfort.
The risks of periodontal disease
Gum disease isn’t only a cause for concern for your oral health, though it can cause jawbone deterioration and tooth loss. The bacteria responsible for periodontal infections can spread through your body.
There are links between gum disease and diabetes, heart disease, respiratory infections, and rheumatoid arthritis. Treating gum disease is about more than saving your smile.
Traditional periodontal surgery
When gum disease advances to the point you require major treatment, you may be facing a procedure called pocket reduction surgery. It targets the pockets of bacteria below your gumline that detach gum tissue from the tooth root. This requires cutting through the gums to deep clean plaque and tartar from the tooth root and repairing other damage.
The repairs might include bone grafts to guard against losing teeth and soft tissue grafts to rebuild your gums. Healing from these procedures takes time as bone and gum tissue begin to regenerate. You could require pain medication as the incisions heal as well as return visits for suture removal. Recovery time may take up to three weeks.
Laser therapy for gum disease
While the scaling and root planing portion of your treatment is the same as with traditional pocket reduction surgery, laser therapy offers a range of advantages over manual surgical methods. Using tightly focused light energy, lasers can cut gum tissue while simultaneously coagulating blood vessels to limit the amount of bleeding during your procedure.
Lasers also sterilize the treatment area, killing bacteria and other pathogens, including the bacteria that cause your gum disease. The laser can precisely target diseased tissue, leaving behind only healthy tissue. This has a healing advantage over the gum flap incisions used in conventional periodontal surgery.
Reducing the invasive nature of periodontal treatment with laser therapy produces faster healing because lasers work around healthy tissue. You’ll recover faster and with less discomfort or pain. You may need less anesthesia during laser therapy, too.
Gum disease is too significant to ignore. Learn more about periodontal laser therapy and find out if it’s right for you by consulting with us at RR Dentistry. You can reach the office by phone or through the “Book online” link on this page. We’ll be happy to schedule a session for you to assess your needs.