Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a serious oral health issue. When you ignore it, the disease only continues to worsen. It can have dire consequences on the health of your mouth and your overall health (leading to complications like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke). Typically, scaling and root planing are treatments used to clean your teeth, which gives your gums an opportunity to begin healing. However, sometimes, inflamed gum tissue prohibits the access required to fully remove buildup from the surfaces of your teeth. At National Dental Melville, we can remove the infected gum tissue with laser dentistry.
The Progression of Gum Disease
Gum disease starts quietly. Many never even know they have it. The earliest stage of gum disease is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss. These symptoms are often thought to be the cause of other issues, such as brushing too vigorously. As gum disease progresses, your swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, opening periodontal pockets. Oral bacteria fall into these pockets, and attack your jawbone and periodontal ligaments, while still irritating your gum tissue. The pockets grow deeper, your gums recede, and your jawbone and ligaments weaken. Your teeth become loose, and they may even fall out.
For your gums to heal, plaque, tartar (hardened plaque) and bacteria need to be removed. This is often accomplished with scaling and root planing. These procedures are used to scrape the surfaces of your teeth clean and smooth the roots of your teeth. In some cases, inflamed gum tissue prevents thorough cleaning. If areas of your teeth are missed, your gums cannot properly heal.
For years, the way to access your teeth for scaling and root planing was to remove the infected gum tissue with a scalpel. While effective, this manual tool is well known for causing significant bleeding during the procedure, and post-procedure pain and swelling. Today, National Dental uses laser dentistry to remove this infected gum tissue. Laser dentistry involves the use of a specialized laser tool. It emits a high-intensity beam of light that is no thicker than a human hair. The laser cauterizes your gum tissue as it works, limiting bleeding. When finished, we have the access we need to perform a thorough scaling and root planing, which will give your gums the opportunity they need to begin healing.
Along with significant bleeding, traditional scalpels are known for causing significant post-procedure pain and swelling. The laser helps to greatly reduce these effects. It offers to pinpoint accuracy and minimal manipulation of your gum tissue. Pain has been one of the major reasons why some patients avoid essential dental procedures (which can then lead to more serious oral health issues). With greatly reduced pain, the procedure becomes less frightening. Those who might otherwise be anxious about getting their necessary procedures done can do so without worry.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
There are several benefits of laser dentistry:
- You will experience much less pain and swelling.
- Bleeding is minimized as the laser cauterizes your tissues as it works.
- You will experience less tissue trauma.
- The recovery time is reduced.
If you have gum disease, scaling and root planing can give your mouth the chance it needs to begin healing. For more information on laser dentistry, call National Dental Melville today at (631) 816-2277!