At Rockland Dental Specialists, we remain committed to providing every patient with the highest standard of care. Advances in dental technology make treatment of various dental problems more effective and more comfortable. The dental laser is one of these advances, which is why we consistently incorporate it into our treatment for gum disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the supporting structures of the teeth, which leads to a loss of the attachment to and support of those teeth. We also refer to periodontal disease as periodontitis, gum disease, or simply “perio”. The primary cause of periodontal disease is dental plaque, which contains the disease-causing bacteria. What makes these bacteria dangerous is the toxins they produce. As plaque builds up between the teeth and gums, the toxins penetrate into the surrounding bone and gums.
The human body responds to these bacterial toxins with inflammation in a defensive attack. Unfortunately, inflammation itself can be dangerous, destroying the attachment between the teeth and gums.
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
The exact treatment of gum disease depends on the stage of the disease. Mild to moderate disease may respond to a “deep cleaning”, which involves the removal of all bacterial buildup, followed by consistent follow-up and maintenance visits. Patients with more severe disease and loss of attachment require surgical intervention.
In order to treat periodontal disease, the first step is always the removal of all dental plaque and bacterial buildup. As long as bacteria are present and producing toxins, the disease will continue worsening. First, we remove the bacteria. We also work to turn off the inflammation the bacteria caused. We smooth and polish the tooth structure underneath the gums to create a healthier environment that is less likely to accumulate plaque.
Ensuring Maintenance and Cleansability
Another important step in the treatment of periodontal disease is restructuring the supporting bone and gums into a configuration that the patient can easily maintain and clean. Dental plaque collects on the teeth on a daily basis. If the patient is unable to remove it consistently, the disease process starts all over again.
The surgeries may include one or more of the following: peeling away the gums for access and visualizing of all diseased areas, removal (cutting away) of diseased tissue, reshaping the underlying jawbone, and grafting of gum tissues or bone.
How Does a Laser Treat Periodontal Disease?
Dental lasers provide multiple advantages over traditional periodontal treatment with a scalpel and stitches. Lasers use focused light that is amplified by radiation. Lasers perform several functions that make it the perfect tool for use in dental applications.
Lasers Kill Bacteria
In the treatment of gum disease, we use a dental laser to sterilize a pocket between the teeth and gums. The laser energy kills bacteria, so when we place the tiny laser tip into the diseased gap, we can ensure that no bacteria survive to keep producing dangerous toxins.
Lasers Fight Inflammation
The energy produced by lasers has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the tissues of the human body. This aspect of lasers is used in many areas of medicine! Specific to gum disease, it helps us stop the inflammatory response that occurs in the bone and gums, leading to rapid destruction of tissue.
Lasers Remove and Reshape Bone and Gums
Different types of lasers target various tissues in the body, and some dental lasers are capable of removing and contouring both the bones and gum tissues. This allows your periodontist to “create” the best architecture around the teeth for great long-term maintenance.
Lasers Cause Less Pain
Traditional surgeries to treat gum disease often lead to significant post-operative pain. The anti-inflammatory effect of a laser leads to a considerably lower amount of pain in the days following your treatment.
Lasers Promote Fast Healing
Just as inflammation can have a harmful effect on tissues, it can also slow down the healing process. Because a laser reduces the inflammation in a treatment site after gum surgery, the site tends to heal much faster, with fewer complications like swelling, bleeding, and infection.
More Questions about Laser Gum Treatment?
Call Rockland Dental Specialists to schedule a consultation with our wonderful team of periodontal specialists. We can answer any question you have about dental lasers and help you determine which treatment is best for your unique situation.