Don’t underestimate the importance of gum health. Preserving your gums is one of the most important aspects of oral hygiene, and they have a critical role to play. Your gums serve as the foundation for your teeth by keeping your roots stable. They also act as a barrier that protects your teeth from harmful bacteria that live inside your mouth. Healthy gums are the cornerstone of good oral health.
Your gums can become diseased when large amounts of plaque accumulate along the gum line. When your gums become infected, they can begin to deteriorate. Oftentimes, this leads to a condition known as receding gums. This occurs when your gums begin to gradually pull away from your teeth leaving roots exposed and creating pockets that can harbor plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
Receding gums can be prevented by catching gum disease before it becomes severe. Unfortunately, many patients delay treatment. In some cases, they believe they can resolve gum disease on their own. In others, they procrastinate due to fear. Despite modern pain management solutions, gum surgery can sound scary to patients, and many find it to be uncomfortable. Most patients don’t want to deal with a lengthy recovery period. As a result, we often see patients after a significant amount of damage to the gums has already occurred.
While early-stage gum disease (Gingivitis) can be treated by improving your oral hygiene, moderate to severe gum disease should be treated by a professional. The good news is you don’t need to fear the process. At Ormond Beach Periodontics, we offer a simple treatment for gum disease. Laser periodontal treatment is an innovative procedure that allows us to quickly eliminate diseased tissue and prevent further gum recession. It’s quick, easy, and highly effective. Plus, it’s relatively pain-free, and you won’t have to deal with a lengthy recovery period.
What You Can Expect With Laser Periodontal Treatment
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) is a treatment that leverages a powerful laser that targets and sterilizes diseased gum tissue with a high degree of accuracy. Because infected tissue has a darker color to it, the laser is able to target gum disease while leaving healthy gums intact. Short pulses of light from the laser produce heat when it comes into contact with bacteria on your gums. The heat eliminates bacteria and also helps your periodontist locate areas of tartar build-up, which can be eliminated with special techniques.
Prior to receiving LANAP, your provider will review your medical history. Because it’s minimally invasive, the vast majority of patients qualify; however, it’s still important to tell your provider about all health conditions and medications. LANAP is generally only used for patients with moderate to severe gum disease. If you have mild gum disease, your periodontist might recommend other options including a better at-home oral hygiene regime.
The entire procedure can usually be done within one to two hours. Before it can begin, your teeth will need to be thoroughly cleaned by a hygienist. The total number of treatments ultimately depends on the severity of your gum disease; however, it’s common for periodontists to tackle LANAP in two sessions — one for each half of your mouth.
Why Laser Periodontal Treatment Is Ideal For Patients With Receding Gums
LANAP is a great option for patients with gum disease and receding gums. First, it helps prevent receding gums from getting worse by eliminating the gum disease. In the event damage has already occurred, LANAP can actually help to promote the growth of new gum tissue. By sterilizing the areas, limiting damage, and stimulating tissue, laser treatment creates the best possible conditions for gum regeneration and regrowth of healthy attachments along the gum pockets. This is highly beneficial, as it can prevent gum disease from re-developing down the road.
Additionally, LANAP doesn’t require incisions and there is little to no gum loss during the procedure itself. As a result, LANAP won’t make receding gums worse.
Is LANAP Painful?
LANAP isn’t nearly as painful as traditional gum disease surgery, which involves scalpels, incisions, and sutures. Prior to receiving laser periodontal treatment, your periodontist will administer a local anesthetic. If you’re anxious about the procedure, sedation dentistry options, such as oral sedation or Nitrous Oxide might be available. These can help you to relax during the procedure.
After the procedure, you should feel fine. You’ll most likely be able to drive yourself home from the appointment. You might feel some mild soreness, but it should subside within 48 hours. Your periodontist will provide at-home care instructions, which may include adjustments to your oral health routine.
IS LANAP Effective?
Some believe LANAP is less effective than traditional periodontal surgery, but the truth is patients can see the same or better results. Laser periodontal treatment has great patient outcomes, and it’s highly effective when it comes to eliminating disease and preventing tooth loss. Some studies have suggested that patients who receive LANAP have less of a chance of re-developing gum disease compared to patients who received traditional gum disease surgery.
When you consider the procedure’s effectiveness and the minimal downsides and side effects, it’s easy to see why laser periodontal treatment has become so popular.
If your gums are red and swollen, they look like they’re shrinking, or your teeth roots are exposed, there is a good chance you’re suffering from severe gum disease. When left untreated, the effects of the disease compound and can result in receding gums. This serious condition can create deep pockets around the teeth where harmful bacteria can hide. While traditional periodontal surgery can help resolve the issue, it’s painful, complicated, and long. It also requires a lengthy recovery. On the other hand, laser periodontal treatment is relatively painless, easy, and highly effective.
Not all dentists can perform LANAP. Only experienced periodontists who have completed a robust training program can offer patients this treatment. At Ormond Beach Perio, we’re certified to perform LANAP and have been offering this treatment for several years. In fact, patients from all over Central Florida seek out our practice because of our great track record of success with this innovative procedure. Contact us today to schedule your laser periodontal treatment consultation.