With more advanced gum disease, two of your most notable options are traditional periodontal surgery and laser periodontal treatment.
How Bacteria Infect Your Gums
Its normal to have bacteria in your mouth, and some of it is harmless or even helpful. And "bad bacteria" can be eliminated or at least reduced by brushing, flossing, using an antiseptic mouth rinse, and by maintaining good oral health in general.
But when plaque starts building up on the margins of your teeth and gums, it becomes host to bacterial colonies. The bacteria form what is called a "biofilm" that covers portions of your gums, sometimes for months or years on end (if not removed).
Over time, bacteria work their way under your gum line and into the interdental spaces, forming deep cavities (pockets) that fill up with bacteria as the gum tissue that once filled those spaces deteriorates.
Poor dental hygiene is a major cause of gum disease, but smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, a high-sugar, nutrient-starved diet, certain other systemic diseases, and genetic considerations may also contribute.
Killing The Harmful Bacteria
With root planing/scaling and other scalpel led methods of treating gum disease, it can be difficult to remove all the harmful bacteria. Your periodontist will do the best possible job, but the fact is, bacteria growing back and requiring a repeat treatment is relatively common with traditional gum surgeries.
But laser periodontal treatment is different. The laser can cut away diseased periodontal tissue with greater pin-point accuracy - and without removing healthy tissue along with it.
As the laser beam "vaporizes" infected periodontal tissue, eliminates bacterial colonies as well. And the wavelength laser device can also burn away bacteria and plaque that may be clinging to your tooth roots.
Although poor oral hygiene post-op can still lead to a re-infection no matter which periodontal treatment is used, laser therapy does a much more thorough job of eliminating bacteria and thus greatly reduces the risks of your gum infection making a swift return.
Other Advantages Of Laser Periodontal Treatment
Although scalpel surgery can still be effective and there are situations where it may be the best option, laser periodontal treatment is superior in general.
Besides better elimination of mouth bacteria, laser surgery also better preserves your healthy gum tissue. And, the laser actually stimulates gum tissue to regenerate itself.
There is less bleeding with laser surgery too, because the laser seals the gums after working on them. There is very little pain during or following laser surgery, and post-op recovery time is often as quick as a day or two. There are no scalpel incisions and no stitches are needed.
LANAP laser periodontal treatment can also help gum tissue to reattach itself to your bone and teeth, and can even help stimulate bone growth around the base of teeth.
Finally, laser gum surgery is more convenient. It only takes around 2-4+ hours to complete in many instances, and can almost always be done in a single periodontal session or split into two visits, a week apart.
To learn more about how laser periodontal treatment can benefit you, feel free to contact periodontist Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Volusia and Flagler Counties, Florida.