Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease but don’t know exactly what that means? Dr. Tiffany Dudley is here to help! Dr. Dudley is dedicated to helping patients educate themselves about the disease and also which treatment options are available, so together they can make the best choice moving forward.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis or gum disease, is a serious infection of the gums that damages soft tissue. There is buildup that grows under the gums on the root surfaces of the teeth, much like barnacles that grow on the bottom of a boat. Without treatment, the bacteria can eat away and destroy the bone that supports the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss.
The reason why it’s so important to treat gum disease is because it gives us a glimpse into your overall health. Basically, the mouth is a window to your body and gum diseases can be a sign of other issues and can be linked to other diseases. This buildup mentioned previously, called calculus, is also linked to many systemic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. By not diagnosing and treating the disease, you are putting yourself at serious risk.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease can include:
• swollen or puffy gums,
• pain when eating,
• pus between teeth and gums,
• gums that bleed easily,
• gums that are tender to the touch,
• newly developed spaces between teeth,
• and more.
The good news is that there are many ways to treat periodontal disease, and the Spodak Dental Group dental team is committed to your care!
What is LANAP?
The most common treatment for periodontal disease is non-surgical periodontal therapy (NSPT), or a deep cleaning, which is a great option if your disease is mild. However, if your disease is moderate to severe, LANAP (laser assisted new attachment procedure) treatment may be needed in order to achieve the best results.
In moderate to severe periodontal disease, there are three areas that require attention:
• tissue inflammation,
• bone loss,
• and tooth mobility.
LANAP is the preferred method for patients who want a non-surgical approach, and is the only method that is approved by the FDA to regrow bone. Not only are you able to treat periodontal disease in full, you are also able to kill the bacteria that causes the disease!
This “No Cut, No Sew, No Fear” approach to treating gum disease offers patients a more manageable way to treat their gum disease with minimal impact on their everyday life. Our goal is to help our patients keep their teeth for a lifetime, and the LANAP therapy is a great tool to do just that!
How is LANAP different from other treatment methods?
The great benefit of LANAP is that it offers patients a more comfortable and predictable non-surgical solution than traditional surgery for gum disease.
In traditional surgery, the dentist would use a scalpel to cut and pull back gum tissue so they can have great access and visibility to the periodontal pocket. From there, they will cut down and suture the gums to decrease the pocket depth, which is what causes a visible change to your gum line. Once the pockets have been cut, bone or tissue grafting may be used to reattach the gum to the tooth’s root surface.
The great news is that LANAP is a viable and highly successful option for patients who are suffering from gum disease and who want to avoid painful surgery. Since LANAP does not require any cutting or sewing, it is also a minimally invasive procedure with little pain or discomfort.
Because the LANAP laser can distinguish between diseased and healthy tissue, the dentist is able to remove only diseased tissue and kill the living bacteria without damaging healthy gums, tooth or bone tissue, with very minimal – if any – aesthetic change to your gum line or smile.
Patients are able to experience less pain, bleeding, sensitivity, swelling and post-operative infections, as well as needing very little downtime after treatment. Healing times are also perceived to be faster and more comfortable than traditional surgery methods!
While periodontal disease is extremely common, there are steps you and your dental team can take to treat the disease. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and seeing your dental professionals for regularly scheduled visits will all help to keep your smile healthy. In the event that additional treatment is needed, we are here for you! Dr. Dudley and our periodontal team are able to successfully diagnose and treat gum disease and will recommend treatment that will best achieve your dental goals.
Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with your dental team. Don’t feel like you have to suffer with gum disease any longer!