The numbers are in and they’re quite alarming. Per the CDC, close to 65 million men and women in the U.S. have gum disease. That’s almost 50 percent of the nation’s adults. Treatments for gum disease once required the use of a scalpel. Don’t let fears of scalpels keep you from seeking treatment. LANAP® offers a gentler, effective treatment for gum disease using laser technology.
Gum disease is not something to ignore. There are links between gum disease and certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. If any of the bacteria in your mouth enters into your bronchial tubes and into your lungs, you could develop respiratory ailments, too.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is often silent and can go undetected by people until it reaches the advanced stages of the disease. What you need to look for are red, bleeding gums and bad breath that doesn’t go away. If your teeth shift or become loose, your gums pull away from your teeth, or you find sores in your mouth, these are all signs of possible gum disease.
What to Expect During a Visit with a Periodontist
A periodontist is a specialist in all aspects of periodontal disease, including gum disease. This dental specialist can diagnose, treat, and help you prevent gum disease. You need to see your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings, but if gum disease is suspected, you’ll be referred to a periodontist.
During the initial visit, your periodontist will look over your dental history and medical history. The periodontist must have access to your medical history to make sure you do not have an underlying condition that could affect your treatment.
An examination of your gums takes place next. If you have spaces between your tooth and gum, a probe is used to measure the gap. This information gives the periodontist an idea of how badly gum disease has affected your bone and gums. Once the periodontist has this information, a plan to help treat your gum disease is put into place.
Benefits to LANAP®
While early stages of gum disease is treated with oral products, more severe cases require gum surgery. Scalpels, incisions, bone grafts, and sutures used to be the only way to handle these surgeries, but the FDA-approved LANAP® procedure uses laser technology that eliminates the need for incisions and sutures.
With LANAP®, you go into the periodontist for just one visit. You sleep through the entire procedure, so there is no discomfort. Once you’re done, you still feel very little pain in comparison to a traditional gum surgery.
Following the procedure, you will be asked to stick to a soft diet for a couple of days. After that, you can eat whatever feels comfortable. This is an improvement over traditional gum surgery that requires a soft diet for at least two weeks.
How LANAP® Works
A probe finds the excessive pockets between the tooth and gum. The first pass of the laser destroys the diseased sections of gum tissue. Any build-up on the root of the tooth is removed using an ultrasonic scaler. This creates a clean surface for the cleaned gum to attach to as you heal. The laser is run over the gums again to stimulate blood clotting. The prepared gum tissue is compressed against the newly prepared tooth surface.
Watch an animated video of a gum surgery using LANAP®. Not every periodontist offers LANAP®, but it is an option at Gallardo & Lamas Periodontics and Implant Dentistry in Miami. To schedule a consultation, call the office at (305) 447-1447.