Almost 50% of American adults over 30 have periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), climbing to over 70% by the time they reach 65. In the early stages, it is called gingivitis, and as the condition advances, it becomes gum disease. Unchecked periodontal disease can lead to loss of jawbone density, infection, and tooth loss.
The laser dentistry specialists at Metairie Village Dentistry have a solution that avoids traditional periodontal disease treatments involving incisions, stitches, pain, and uncomfortable recovery. Laser periodontal therapy can treat gum disease during a patient-friendly procedure that’s more comfortable.
Periodontal disease 101
There are always bacteria in your mouth, both good and bad. Typically, saliva keeps bacteria diluted while brushing and flossing removes plaque, a bacterial by-product. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings monitor and control plaque development that home care can’t fully remove.
Sometimes, plaque develops quickly and irritates your gums. As gingivitis begins, your gums bleed, and pockets form below the gumline. Left unchecked, gingivitis develops into periodontal disease, a stage that can’t be reversed by at-home oral care. At that point, we may recommend advanced periodontal therapy with dental lasers.
Laser periodontal therapy
When you have periodontal disease, traditional treatment usually starts with a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing to deep clean the plaque and tartar from your teeth at and below the gumline. In moderate cases, that may be enough to encourage gum tissue to reattach to your teeth.
In advanced cases, you may need gum flap surgery. That used to mean incisions, deep cleaning of the roots, and stitches before the gum tissue could heal and reattach. Now, laser periodontal therapy offers an alternative approach.
Laser therapy works alongside scaling and root planing. The dental laser removes inflamed gum tissue with pinpoint precision, leaving healthy gum tissue untouched. The laser kills bacteria and germs beneath the inflamed tissue and in the pockets where bacteria have flourished. The laser also seals blood vessels where it removes inflamed tissue, so there is no bleeding.
Lasers speed up the healing process. There’s no need for stitches after laser therapy. The non-invasive nature of laser therapy means less pain, reduced swelling, and accelerated recovery time.
Find out if you’re a candidate for laser procedures by talking with Dr. Lisa Wyatt at Metairie Village Dentistry. Book a consultation session by phone or online. Periodontal disease won’t resolve on its own, so schedule your visit today.