Signs of gum disease (gingivitis) include swelled, reddened gums that may seep blood around the edges of the teeth. Gums that are sore to the touch and recede noticeably from the tops of the teeth are probably suffering advanced gingivitis and need professional treatment immediately before tooth loss occurs. Dentists urge anyone with gum disease symptoms to seek professional dental treatment and not rely on over the counter products to reverse a moderate to severe case of gingivitis. Because eradication of all bacterial plaque on teeth and gums is necessary to stop gum disease from progressing, only a scaling and root planing procedure will ensure the disease will not continue to progress.
Reversing Mild Gum Disease
If gingivitis is caught by a dentist in time, it may be reversed with regular dental cleanings, fluoridation, improving brushing and flossing practices and using antibacterial, nonalcoholic mouthwash. Preventing dry mouth by drinking water instead of sugary drinks and chewing on sugarless gum increases saliva production to help reduce the amount of oral bacteria causing gum disease.
Gum Disease Treatment for Moderate to Severe Gingivitis
Dentists may use the Nd:Yag laser to remove and disinfect diseased gums The Nd:Yag laser is a state-of-the-art, low level laser perfect for targeting smaller areas in the mouth because it is less bulky than other lasers and readily assimilated by red blood cells to reduce bleeding. When used for laser gum treatments, the Nd:Yag laser is also able to sterilize and desensitize areas that remain exposed during treatment. This avoids the need for painful injections of dental anesthetics and reduces recovery time as well.
Nd:Yag (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) technology employs photon-based light beams that are highly energized to fragment and remove soft tissue without the need for invasive procedures. Dentists recommend patients opt for gum treatments using laser technology unless a condition warrants a more extensive treatment method requiring traditional surgery. To avoid the need for laser gum treatment, dentists also urge everyone visit the dentist for regular examinations and cleanings while consistently using good oral hygiene practices that helps prevent gingivitis from harming healthy gum tissue and teeth.
Diode lasers work exceptionally well to repair a variety of oral problems involving diseased gum tissue because photons contained within the laser beam are readily absorbed and utilized by chromophores and hemoglobin. With special diode lasers, dentists can target decay on teeth and gums while leaving healthy areas untouched by the laser. In addition, laser energy quickly penetrates tissues to reach pockets of infection existing deep in the gums while suppressing growth of certain oral bacteria responsible for severe gum disease.
Laser gum treatments do not involve sutures, scalpels or other tools associated with surgical procedures. For patients suffering “gummy” smiles due to loss of gum health, dentists can remove excess gum tissue encroaching the tops of the teeth with dental lasers. When infected with periodontal disease, gums often sag at the gumline because heavy pockets of infection form at the line where the teeth and gums meet. Laser gum treatments eliminate bacterial infection by disinfecting the area with laser energy and dissolving excess gum tissue that is no longer viable. Patients heal more rapidly when undergoing laser gum therapy and experience little to no discomfort following the procedure.
WaterLase Laser Treatment
WaterLase for treating gum disease requires minimal anesthesia for patients and reduces the amount of time it takes to complete more invasive procedures. Originally approved for cutting tooth structure by the U.S. FDA in 1998, WaterLase has since been cleared to treat gum diseases such as gingivitis as well as bone disorders resulting from serious oral traumas. Based on the principles of HydroPhotonics, a technology developed by the company that created the WaterLase, this laser treatment also allows dentists to remove plaque and tartar without using dental tools that tend to scrape away healthy enamel in the process of cleaning teeth.