Gently Treating Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a common oral infection of the gums. The early stages of gum disease are reversible, and for some patients, these stages are painless, which makes it more dangerous for those who avoid the dentist. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and take a toll on your immune system and overall health.
If your oral health has fallen by the wayside, no need to fear. With our laser therapy, Dr. Sheehan can effectively treat gum disease using LANAP® laser therapy.
What is LANAP® Laser Therapy?
As gum disease worsens, small, bacteria-filled pockets will form around the base of your teeth. In order to prevent the spread of this infection, the pockets need to be cleaned.
Traditionally, dentists treat gum disease with a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the dentist removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line to ensure the pockets are free from infection and decay.
Treating gum disease with LANAP® laser therapy is similar, as the goal is to clean beneath the gum line, but performing the cleaning process with LANAP® is much more gentle on the patient. During LANAP® therapy, only the bacteria that cause the infection are targeted by the laser, so there’s no risk to your natural microbiome.
Benefits of Laser Treatment
Keeping your oral health in peak condition can make all the difference in your overall wellness and the quality of your life. However, treating problems like gum disease doesn’t have to be intimidating, painful, or scary. With so many strides in dentistry, we can make treating dental issues easier on the body and more effective. This is why Dr. Sheehan is proud to include effective laser treatments.
- 24-hour recovery with minimal discomfort
- No sutures or scalpels needed
- Reduced risk of infection
- Less bleeding during treatment
- Shorter treatment time
- Longer-lasting results
- Reduced risk of gum sensitivity
- Stimulates gum and bone regeneration
- Preserves your healthy gum tissue
How LANAP® Laser Therapy Works
Before treatment, Dr. Sheehan will conduct a thorough dental examination. During this appointment, we’ll discuss treatment options and create an effective treatment plan personalized to your wellness goals and needs. If Dr. Sheehan decides that LANAP® laser therapy is the best option, we’ll move forward with your treatment plan.
We’ll take detailed x-rays to get an idea of the extent and severity of your gum disease. LANAP® laser therapy takes around two hours to complete and only one side of your mouth can be worked on per session. If you have infected gums on both sides, you may need to return for a second session.
During the procedure, Dr. Sheehan will apply a local anesthetic to ensure a painless experience. Once we’ve ensured your anesthetic is working, the laser light of the device will be applied directly to the pockets between your gums and teeth. This specially designed laser is meant to target and eliminate only the unhealthy bacteria that cause the infection. This means more of your healthy tissue is preserved.
Afterward, the laser is used to stimulate the creation of a blood clot around the newly cleaned area. This activates your body’s natural healing capabilities, beginning the process of filling the gaps caused by gum disease, reattaching your gums to your teeth, and healing your gums faster than with traditional treatment. In most cases, you can immediately continue with your day following treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Healthy gums are pale pink, firm, and fit snugly around your teeth. If you notice any changes in the appearance or feel of your gums, it’s important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheehan. Gum disease has different stages and as it progresses, more serious issues can develop. Later stages of gum disease have a host of different indicators including:
- Gums that appear swollen or puffy
- Dusky red, bright red, or purplish gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Gums that bleed or spitting out blood when flossing or brushing
- Loose teeth or spaces developing between the teeth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Pain when chewing
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Gum disease is completely preventable and the early stages are reversible which is why it’s important to keep a lookout for signs and symptoms. The first stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can sometimes be asymptomatic, so it’s important to keep a consistent oral hygiene routine paired with biannual visits at our Waterford office to ensure your oral health stays in peak condition. If your oral health has fallen by the wayside, we can help you with our effective LANAP® treatment to get you back on track.
Most people are great candidates for LANAP® treatment. It can even help those who may otherwise disqualify for other gum treatments such as pregnant patients and those with underlying health conditions like diabetes.
If you’re suffering from the effects of periodontal disease and are willing to make a positive change in your oral health, LANAP® treatment is for you.
During your procedure, the laser used in your LANAP® treatment stimulates the healing process by sealing off blood vessels and creating a clot, which means downtime is minimal. It is normal to experience the following:
- Gum discoloration
- Minimal swelling
- Light bleeding
- Tooth sensitivity
- Soreness or tenderness of gums or teeth
- Temporarily altered taste
It’s important to follow all post-operative instructions from Dr. Sheehan. We may recommend avoiding brushing for a predetermined amount of time or eating soft foods following treatment. While the treatment itself takes minimal time, in order to ensure the success of your healing process, we may suggest temporary dietary changes or a specific oral hygiene routine designed to preserve the clot so that you can heal effectively.
Complications following LANAP® treatment are extremely rare. If you experience prolonged pain, swelling, or excessive bleeding after a few days following treatment, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Sheehan at our Waterford office by dialing (248) 487-8765.
Discover if LANAP® Laser Therapy is Right For You
The field of dentistry has made great strides in making treatments more comfortable and effective for patients. With LANAP® laser therapy, Dr. Sheehan can treat gum disease with precision and gentleness, so that you recover faster and experience less discomfort. If you’re ready to reclaim your oral health or you’re interested in learning more about LANAP®, schedule an appointment at our Waterford office by calling (248) 487-8765 today.