How Lasers Can Help Heal Your Gums

by Dr. Follette | Date Published: 2017-09-14

A staggering 85% of adults have gum disease. Once you find out that you are one of these people, you have a variety of treatment options available. One such treatment is based on the increased technology of lasers—laser periodontics.

Gum Disease Basics

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the bone and tissue that holds your teeth in the proper place. It most commonly affects adults in their 30s and 40s, but anyone can be a victim of gum disease. Generally, it is caused by both genetic issues and your daily habits, including:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Some chronic illnesses
  • Some medications
  • Basic genetics

Treating Gum Disease

When you first discover that you have gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend a deep cleaning of your teeth. Non surgical periodontics is often  the first line of defense in minor cases of gum disease. This cleaning involves removing calculus, smoothing the root surfaces just below the gum line, and reducing germs on the root of the teeth.

This type of procedure is also known as “scaling and root planning.” It helps stop the infection from progressing any further, but it cannot regrow any lost bone or deal with the pocket that has likely formed around the tooth. As such, more severe cases may require surgery. In that case, you now have two options: traditional surgery and laser periodontics.

Using Laser Treatment from Your Periodontist

Laser therapy can be used to remove the infected gum tissue around the root of the tooth. Then, root scaling can occur more efficiently. Comparatively, traditional surgery requires using a scalpel to cut the gums and push them back to access the root effectively. Then, the dentist will stitch the gums back together at the end of the procedure.

The periodontist goes through the same scaling process and laser treatment as he or she would during traditional surgery. However, there are several benefits to using this type of treatment compared to others.

  • Patients do not need to use general anesthesia during laser treatment.
  • Laser treatment is less intrusive than other types of surgery, so bleeding, pain, and swelling are less likely to occur.
  • Recovery and healing times are usually shorter with laser treatment.
  • By using lasers, your periodontist can target specific areas more precisely and accurately.
  • There are no stitches required.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of this treatment is that using the laser stimulates the cells in the tissue to regrow. That means that your body can regrow and heal on its own, generating lost structures such as ligaments, bone, and tissue around the tooth.

Like any treatment, there are additional risks as well. For example, if your dentist uses the wrong power level or an inappropriate wavelength for the laser, it could potentially cause more damage to your gum tissue.

Some medical professionals have not yet approved laser treatment for gum disease, and there is some discrepancy about which wavelength is the most appropriate for this type of procedure. As the technology is still developing, it is crucial that you use only an experienced professional if you are considering laser periodontics. Call 310-870-0040 for a smile consultation today!