When you think of laser technology, which of the following things comes to mind?
- Scientific research
- Military weapons
- Science fiction
- Rock concerts
Yes, dentistry is one of the places where laser technology it being put to good use. And one of the dentist offices that is doing this can be found in Marietta, GA.
At Atlanta West Dentistry, we recently added the DEKA Smart CO2 Laser as part of how we combat and treat gum disease. (Pew-pew sounds are not included.)
Surgical Gum Disease Treatment
The older way of treating advanced gum disease was with surgery.
This meant the dentist or oral surgeon would get a scalpel and physically cut into your gum tissue. This could cause a lot of bleeding, which made the procedure more difficult to complete.
With gum surgery, the dentist wanted to be sure that he or she has removed the entire infection from your mouth. As a result, he or she often removed more tissue than necessary.
As with any surgical procedure, you will need time to heal. In the case of gum surgery, this could take a few weeks depending on the severity of your infection.
Laser Gum Treatment
Laser gum treatment is a big advancement in terms of how your gum disease can be fixed. Our DEKA Smart CO2 Laser uses pulsing technology rather than the blade of a knife.
By using a laser, we are effectively evaporating the infected tissue. This means we don’t have to cut into your gums. We can more precisely target the infected tissue, and we can preserve more of your healthy tissue, too.
There’s also less bleeding, which reduces your recovery time.
A Common Problem
Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a more common problem than many people realize.
The Centers for Disease Control recently conducted a survey and found that nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have periodontitis.
The effects of this form of gum disease can range from mild to severe:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that feel tender or sore
- Gums that appear to leak pus
- Pocket formation due to gum recession
- Loose teeth
If you leave this condition untreated, it can cause major damage to the bone that holds your teeth in your mouth. With time, it could cost you your teeth.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to keep your mouth healthy, including your gums, is with preventive care. This starts with the basics, but it’s worth repeating from time to time.
Start by brushing your teeth every day, twice a day, for two minutes each time.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste with the “ADA Accepted” seal. You only need a small amount of toothpaste (about the size of a pea).
Scrub your teeth on all sides to remove as many bacteria and as much plaque as you can.
But a word of caution, do not brush too hard. This can actually wear down the protective enamel on your teeth, and you can wear down your gum tissue, too.
You should feel a little pressure on your gums when you brush, but if you are pressing hard enough that the bristles are bending, that means you are pushing too hard.
Next, remember to floss between your teeth and gums every day.
Flossing allows you to remove bacteria from the places you could not reach otherwise. The most important thing to remember about flossing is to do it.
You should hug the floss around your teeth and under your gumline. You can use floss that is flavored or unflavored, waxed or unwaxed, thick or thin. Whatever you prefer to use is fine. Just make sure you use it.
Last, but not least, you need to receive professional cleanings and examinations at a minimum a couple times per year. (People who are more prone to gum disease or other oral health problems may need to come more frequently.)
A dentist or hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar that you may have missed, and he or she will look for signs of gum disease. By catching problems early, you may never need our more advanced periodontal treatments.
If you are showing signs of gum disease, call Atlanta West Dentistry today to make an appointment as soon as you are able.