Gum disease is one of the most serious and painful oral conditions you can experience. If that isn’t enough to scare you, the condition can also impact more than just your oral health. The chronic inflammation caused by the diseased tissue can also have detrimental effects throughout the rest of your body. Needless to say, if you’re suffering from gum disease, it couldn’t be more important to have it treated as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, many patients delay gum disease treatment for many reasons including fear, discomfort, and a lengthy recovery. Putting off treatment can lead to further complications and affect your overall health. The good news is there is a gum disease treatment that is less invasive, pain-free, and that has an easy recovery: Laser Periodontal Treatment. We’ll explain all the benefits of laser treatment and help you determine if it’s right for you:
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontitis, also referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the gums that can lead to tissue damage, jawbone damage, and tooth loss. It is often a result of poor oral hygiene, and it occurs when gums recede from the teeth, which essentially creates gaps that allow bacteria to accumulate.
Gum disease can also lead to other health problems like heart disease and may even increase your chances of developing dementia. Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, and tender gums, bleeding, bad breath, or painful chewing. The condition can be prevented through good oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings).
Depending on the severity of the disease, periodontists often use different combinations of non-surgical and surgical procedures to treat gum disease. These include scaling, root planing, and gum flap surgery. While your periodontist will make every attempt to minimize pain through anesthesia, many patients worry about potential discomfort associated with these options.
How Laser Periodontal Treatment Can Help
For those looking to avoid invasive gum disease treatments, there is a great option available. It’s called laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP). It’s an innovative laser periodontal treatment that uses a high-powered, but very small pulsed laser to destroy and remove diseased gum tissue. It also helps to sterilize the remaining healthy tissue to prevent reinfection. During the process, a licensed periodontist will navigate the laser across your gums. Because infected gums appear darker, the laser is able to detect and remove diseased tissue with a high degree of accuracy without hurting or impacting the healthy segments of your gums.
After the laser is applied, your periodontist will remove any remaining plaque and tartar, and then your remaining gums will work to regenerate healthy tissue. The whole process takes about an hour per treatment, and the total number of treatments ultimately depends on the severity of your gum disease.
LANAP offers many benefits over other gum disease treatments:
- It’s Less Invasive – There are no incisions during the procedure, which ultimately means less pain. While some patients may experience some mild discomfort, it’s much less than you’d experience with traditional gum flap surgery.
- It Leads To A Shorter Recovery – Patients often feel back to normal after a couple of days, whereas gum flap surgery often has several weeks of recovery time. Though keep in mind, that laser periodontal treatment isn’t without a few side effects. Patients may experience soreness or bleeding for a few days after the procedure. Softer foods are recommended.
- It Won’t Impact Your Smile Or Bite – While you might feel some mild soreness for a day or two, LANAP will leave your smile and bite intact, so you won’t have to suffer post-procedure.
- It’s Affordable – LANAP treatments are often affordable, and in many cases, they’re covered by insurance. In the event your insurance plan doesn’t cover the procedure, many providers offer financing plans.
- It’s Very Safe – While a laser may sound intimidating, they’re actually very safe. Dental lasers have been around for decades. They’re not only highly accurate, but they also carry significantly less risk for reinfection compared to other procedures. The overall risk for complications is very low.
Am I A Candidate For Laser Periodontal Treatment?
Another great thing about laser periodontal treatment is the majority of patients with severe gum disease qualify. It’s even safe during pregnancy. However, certain health conditions or medications may disqualify you, so it’s important to review your health history with your periodontist to be sure.
If you’re suffering from gum disease and are nervous about the idea of surgical treatments, then we recommend exploring laser periodontal treatment. At Ormond Beach Periodontics, Dr. Stuart Beauchamp is licensed to perform this innovative procedure, and our patients have seen excellent results. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.