You might not think anything of it if you see that your gums are bleeding a little bit when you brush and floss. However, it's important to be vigilant since bleeding and swollen gums are both signs of early periodontal disease. Also referred to as gingivitis, early periodontal disease can develop into a more serious case and cause more uncomfortable symptoms if left untreated.
What is Periodontal Disease?
The tissues around your teeth, including your gums, ligaments and bone, can be impacted by periodontal disease. Many people first experience this infection in its most mild form - gingivitis - which affects the gums. That said, the disease can progress to involve all tissues in your mouth.
Typically, adults in their 30s or 40s experience periodontal disease. The main cause of the condition is bacterial plaque buildup. However, anything from poor oral hygiene habits to a genetic disposition can cause periodontal disease. Factors such as poor diet, medications, other diseases and more can also increase your risk for gum disease or make it worse once you have an infection.
How Does Laser Therapy Work?
Periodontal laser therapy is one form of treatment for periodontal disease. Lasers are extremely focused light beams with various wavelengths and strengths that can change or remove tissues in small amounts. During laser gum treatment, a dentist will use a laser to access your infected periodontal pockets and kill all infected tissue and bacteria. After removing the infected tissue and gaining access to your exposed tooth root, the dentist will use an ultrasonic root cleaner to remove calculus. Then, they will use laser energy to warm your stem cells in the pocket and seal your tissues against your tooth root.
Dentists use lasers for more than just periodontal laser therapy as well. Laser tools allow your dentist to correct tongue ties, treat canker and cold sores, treat root canal infections, regenerate damaged nerves and remove benign oral tumours. If you’re not a candidate for periodontal surgery, or you simply don’t want an invasive procedure, lasers may be an alternative for you.
Benefits of Laser Therapy
There are many potential benefits of laser gum treatment, including:
- Faster healing time than traditional surgery
- Less invasive and no need for drills
- Minimal bleeding and swelling
- Adjustable wavelengths and power levels for each patient
Are There Cons to Laser Therapy?
Despite the benefits listed above, it’s important to also look at some of the drawbacks. If you’re considering gum disease laser treatment, you should keep in mind your dentist cannot use lasers on teeth that have fillings. This form of treatment can also have a higher price than scaling and root planing. Make sure you talk to your dentist about every important factor so you can find the right treatment plan.