Gum disease can have serious consequences if it isn't treated. The infection can spread to your bone and you might lose your teeth. There are different ways to treat gum disease depending on how severe it is. One possible option your dentist might recommend is laser periodontal treatment. Here's how it works to treat gum disease and why it might be a better option than traditional surgery.
Laser Treatments Remove Infected Tissue
A goal of gum disease treatment is to remove the pockets of infection around your teeth that develop under your gums. Traditionally, this required cutting open the gums so the dentist could scrape out the infection. A laser is able to target the infection without the need to cut into your gums. Your dentist passes very thin laser fibers between your tooth and gum that send a pulse of energy into the tissue. The laser only works on darker tissue that is infected. It doesn't harm normal lighter-colored healthy gum tissue. This is what allows the laser to target an infection that is hidden under your gums.
Laser Treatments Are Less Painful
You might feel some heat and discomfort during the laser procedure, but there is less pain involved during the procedure and after when compared to traditional surgery. You might have tenderness for a few days, but since there is no incision or stitches, you won't have pain during recovery. You'll be able to resume your usual activities sooner and your recovery period should be much quicker with a lower risk of infection since there is no incision.
Laser Treatments Are Taken In Stages
Your dentist will probably work on one side of your mouth at a time. The treatments may be scheduled about a week apart, so your entire time spent in recovery could be a few weeks. Recovery from laser treatments usually involves eating a soft diet until your gums have healed, not smoking, and not brushing or using floss until your dentist says it's okay to resume normal oral care. If your teeth are loose because of the gum disease, you might need to wear a splint that helps stabilize your teeth until your gums tighten back against your teeth.
You may have to seek out a dentist that provides the service since not every dentist has a laser device in their office. If you have gum disease and you are fearful of undergoing treatment that requires painful surgery, then laser treatments could be the solution for clearing the infection and saving your teeth.