Petaluma Dentist offers LANAP therapy for gum disease treatment
Gum disease is common yet preventable. Nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have evidence of gum disease in their mouths. The number of patients with this condition increases with age. Good oral health habits and regular dental visits help prevent dental problems and decrease the likelihood of gum disease developing. For patients in Petaluma who do develop periodontal disease, Dr. Jurina Smida and the team at Dental Care and Wellness of Sonoma County offer LANAP therapy for gum disease.
What is gum disease?
The gums are the soft, pink, supportive tissues at the base of the teeth. Healthy gums should be pink in color. Periodontal disease begins when a film of plaque develops on the teeth. Bacteria spread to the gums causing the inflammation, redness, swelling and bleeding. Left untreated, the disease progresses as bacteria spreads further into the gums and causes infections. Gum disease does not just appear or worsen overnight. The symptoms start small when they arise and spread gradually. The disease becomes more destructive as it spreads. This is a common cause of tooth loss in adults.
There are three stages of gum disease ranging from mild to severe.
- Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. It is also the most common. This phase involves swollen, red, or sensitive gums. The gums may bleed when brushing. At this point, gum disease is reversible.
- Periodontitis involves receding gums that may pull away from the teeth. Gaps or spaces develop around the teeth. Bacteria may enter the gaps and cause infections.
- As the most severe stage, advanced periodontitis may include damage to the teeth, bones, gums, and connective tissue. Tooth loss is possible.
Gum disease treatment
Periodontal disease has serious consequences, but it can be prevented. Patients who follow good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly improve the health of their teeth and gums. Routine dental appointments are crucial for maintaining oral health and preventing gum disease. Appointments are spaced in a manner that ensures potential problems can be handled quickly and effectively. If signs of gum disease arise, the condition can be treated before it escalates into a more serious problem.
LANAP therapy is an FDA-cleared laser treatment that offers patients an alternative to conventional gum surgery. This protocol produces a less painful, more successful treatment. LANAP treatment results in periodontal regeneration, new bone growth, and gum tissue reattachment.
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The protocol for LANAP therapy is successful in treating gum disease for a number of reasons.
- It targets the source of gum inflammation without harming healthy gum tissue.
- Problems with losing gum attachment are slowed or stopped and pocket depth is decreased.
- The treatment is non-surgical meaning the body heals and recovers from the chronic gum infection without the need for scalpels or sutures.
With traditional gum surgery, the dentist uses a scalpel to cut the gums exposing the teeth roots and jawbone. The dentist cleans the tartar and assesses the bone. Damaged bone may be reshaped or treated with a bone graft. The gums may also be cut to create a periodontal pocket which would allow the patient to clean more effectively. The gums are sutured, and the recovery period begins.
Treatment using the LANAP protocol is only performed by a dentist certified in the procedure. The gums are not cut with this process. A dental laser is used rather than a scalpel so there is no need for sutures to close any wounds. The laser energy targets the source of the inflammation. Healthy gum tissue remains unharmed. By treating the source of the problem, the procedure slows the loss of gum attachment and lessens pocket depth. Healing time is improved with laser procedures.
Benefits of LANAP therapy
LANAP therapy is a non-surgical procedure. The treatment promotes the regeneration of supporting gum tissues and brings patients a number of benefits. Compared to traditional gum surgery, patients who undergo laser treatments generally experience the following:
- Less pain, bleeding, swelling, and sensitivity
- Less gum loss
- Lower risk of infections
- Little downtime after the treatment
- Faster, more comfortable recovery period