Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a widespread issue in the United States. A mild form of periodontitis usually goes unnoticed especially if oral and dental hygiene is maintained properly. Do you suffer from the following?
Gums that bleed while flossing or brushing
Red, swollen and tender or painful gums
Foul breath or bad taste in the mouth
Dull or sharp pain when biting
Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
Gum Disease and Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is the chronic inflammation of the gums caused by dental plaque buildup under a person’s gum line. It can spread and involve the bone that surrounds and provides support for teeth. The disease progresses in three stages – gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is the least severe and advanced periodontitis is the most advanced. Here is a brief discussion of each of these stages:
This is the mildest form of gum disease. It presents with redness and/or swelling of the gums, and some bleeding during flossing or brushing. In most cases, this stage is associated with very little or no discomfort. Gingivitis often results from poor oral and dental hygiene. Smokers, diabetics, the elderly, genetically predisposed, the immuno-suppressed are at greater risk of developing gingivitis. Simple oral and dental hygiene can reverse gingivitis.
If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, which is a moderately severe form of gum disease. In this case, the plaque has spread below the gum line. The bacteria may produce toxins that can irritate the gums and stimulate a chronic form of inflammation. The body turns on itself and its tissues, and even bone that supports the teeth is broken down and damaged. The gums then begin to separate from the teeth, forming spaces between the gums and the teeth. Eventually, the teeth may become extremely loose to warrant removal. Patients suspecting they suffer from this stage of gingivitis should consult a periodontist.
3. Advanced or Severe Periodontitis
Untreated periodontitis advances to severe periodontitis. This condition is characterized by severe gum infection and the gums may produce pus. The gingival pockets are generally above 7 millimeters in depth. Patients with severe periodontitis will struggle a lot with chewing, noxious taste in the mouth, and foul offensive breath.
The gums will have regressed so greatly that they force the teeth to shift positions to fill the gaps or voids created. The teeth are extremely loose and can fall out at any time. Furthermore, the infection has spread so much that it involves even deeper tissues. The systemic spread of the infection may cause, worsen or complicate diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Prevention is better than cure. Preventing periodontal disease from developing in the first place is a good way to keep your mouth healthy. Since the starting point or risk factor for periodontal disease is poor oral and dental hygiene, the best preventive measures involve improving oral hygiene. This may require a patient to adopt better routine habits.
A very important step in preventing gum disease is to recognize the risk factors. Certain diseases such as those that reduce a person’s immunity may create a good opportunity for bacteria to multiply and wreak havoc. Treating the underlying disease will generally improve periodontitis. To stay safe, you need to visit a dentist’s office regularly. This way, the dentist will recognize the disease as it develops and give recommendations.
Lanap Gum Surgery
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure is used when gum disease has progressed from gingivitis to moderate and advanced periodontitis. A Lanap professional will insert a laser tool fitted with a tiny probe into the patient’s gingival pocket and move it around the teeth. The probe is designed to emit a highly effective wavelength of concentrated light to eradicate diseased tissue while at the same time cleaning the area.
Lanap will also create a protective blood clot that will bar new pathogens from invading the gingival pockets. In advanced gingivitis, Lanap will kill all of the bacteria and eliminate inflammation while stimulating the regrowth of bone, soft tissue, and connective tissue, and help the area to heal. An antibiotic used along with the laser will ensure complete and faster eradication of the offending bacteria.
Lanap is designed to do the following:
- Get rid of bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms from gum pockets around teeth
- Remove any diseased gum tissues without hurting the healthy soft tissues in the gum
- Accelerate the reattachment of the healthy gum tissue to the affected teeth
- Prevent further bone loss and gum tissue detachment
Lanap, a form of laser gum surgery, is an innovative way of treating advanced gum disease that works with your body to self-heal. This laser gum procedure is very minimally invasive as it does not require any cutting or stitches. It involves removing the offending bacteria with a specially calibrated, soft-tissue laser and then allowing the healthy gum tissues to heal and reattach to the teeth. At our office near Frisco TX, our specially trained periodontal surgeon performs Lanap.Call us today to schedule a consultation for this laser gum procedure.