In today’s society, about one in every two Americans age 30 and older have been diagnosed with gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. The tricky part about this disease is that it’s virtually painless, which means many people don’t know they have it.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease develops when plaque is left to build up on your teeth and turns into a calculus or “tartar.” When tarter isn’t removed, it can destroy your teeth as well as the bone that supports them. This leads to swollen, red, and bleeding gums. If you are currently suffering from red or swollen gums, it would be best to make an appointment with a dentist right away to determine if in fact you do have gum disease.
How is gum disease treated?
Depending on your specific case, there are surgical and nonsurgical options to treat gum disease. Unless your case is already severe, your dentist should consider nonsurgical options first as they are the most cost-effective.
- Scaling and root planing: To treat your gum disease, your dentist will carefully clean the surfaces of your teeth by removing the plaque, especially from deep pockets. Your dentist may also smooth the tooth root in order to remove bacterial toxins. Following your scaling and root planing, you will likely be placed on antibiotics to prevent infection.
- LANAP laser treatments: Short for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, LANAP is an FDA-approved laser treatment that is quickly becoming the preferred method of periodontal treatment. Patients appreciate LANAP laser treatments because they cause significantly less pain than surgical methods. LANAP is the only laser treatment that has been scientifically researched and proven to effectively treat gum disease. Patients often opt for LANAP treatments because they target the source of the gum disease as well as the inflammation without harming or removing healthy gum tissue. For this reason, patients enjoy less recovery and downtime.
Benefits of LANAP laser treatments:
- Less bleeding
- Significantly less pain than traditional surgical methods
- Reduced sensitivity
- Minor gum loss
- Less swelling
- Reduced risk of infections
- Shorter recovery time after treatment
- Quicker gum tissue regeneration
- Faster healing time
How is LANAP different from other surgical methods?
LANAP laser treatments are different from traditional perio surgical methods because the laser gently removes the bacteria that causes gum disease. The laser is the width of three human hairs, which means it targets only the diseased areas and causes minimal to no damage to healthy tissues.
What should I expect during my LANAP treatment?
LANAP periodontal treatments are full-mouth treatments that are typically scheduled in two, 2-hour visits. Your dentist will complete one side of your mouth during the first session and then about a week later, the other side will be done. It’s very common for patients to resume their regular routines right after their treatments, so don’t stress over your appointment!
What kind of precautions should I take afterward?
You may experience a little bit of soreness in the days that follow your treatment. Note that the gum tissues around your teeth may seem discolored due to the nature of your treatment. Follow the following guidelines to avoid any complications. Don’t brush or floss your teeth in the 7-10 days that follow your appointment. Eat a soft diet for the length of time that your dentist recommends. Try not to smoke as it interferes with the body’s healing process.