Gum disease is a more common oral health issue than many people realize. According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. Early on, the condition often causes mild symptoms like redness, swelling, and bleeding; however, if your gum disease reaches the periodontitis stage, you’ll be at risk of losing your teeth, and you might be more likely to develop heart problems.
The best way to prevent gum disease from turning into a severe oral health issue is to get in touch with our office to schedule a periodontal consultation with Dr. Harder. Once he has had a chance to examine your mouth, he can develop a treatment plan that will keep your gum disease under control and protect your smile from further damage.
The earliest stages of gum disease can sometimes be reversed with good oral hygiene and a traditional dental cleaning. That said, these steps alone aren’t always enough to treat the infection. In many cases, we may need to perform a deep cleaning procedure, which is divided into two major steps: scaling and root planing.
Scaling is the process of removing harmful plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. We will specifically focus on the area around and below your gumline, and we’ll take the time to clean all the way down to the bottom of any pockets that have formed between your teeth and gums.
After scaling comes root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of the teeth. Bacteria have a harder time accumulating on smooth surfaces, so this simple step can go a long way toward preventing further infection and allowing the gums to reattach to the teeth.
We know that some patients are nervous about having any kind of dental work done, and we want to do whatever it takes to keep you as comfortable as possible. To that end, instead of using metal tools to treat your gum disease, we offer soft tissue laser therapy.
This modern approach to periodontal care involves using a special laser to remove any infected or damaged gum tissue. The laser also kills the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease in the first place.
There are many advantages to using a soft tissue laser for periodontal therapy. For one thing, the laser is so gentle that we may not even need to numb your mouth for the procedure. Additionally, soft tissue lasers can immediately seal any exposed blood vessels; this means there’s less bleeding at the end of the procedure, and the recovery process won’t take as long.