The Detrimental & Dangerous Effects Of Periodontal Disease
How much damage can gum disease do if left untreated? More than you probably realize. In extreme cases, it can lead to tooth loss, painful infections, spreading of inflammation to other parts of the body, and even increase the risk of heart disease and cause diabetes to become more difficult to control.
The immediate effects, however, are infection and death of periodontal (gum) tissue, as bacterial colonies dig deeper below the gum line. This exposes tooth roots and increases the chances of cavities. It obviously detracts from the beauty of a healthy, natural smile.
Thankfully, there are several forms of periodontal treatment that can effectively reverse gum disease. We'll look at those next below.
The 5 Major Periodontal Treatment Options
In general, we can say there are five major types of modern periodontal treatment. The most common approach, often used for milder cases of gingivitis, is root planing and scaling. This involves pulling back gum tissue from tooth roots so the root surfaces can be scraped clear or encrusted tartar and smoothed out to eliminate imperfections where bacteria are likely to thrive.
The next option is gum flap surgery, which involves cutting the gums and folding them over where necessary to extend them back upwards. This allows your tooth roots to be covered again. Dental sutures will be necessary to hold the gums in place, and it can take months for full healing to occur.
In some cases, gum grafts are added to your gums if you have lost too much gum tissue. Again, dental stitches will be needed for this, and bone grafts may also be needed if your periodontal disease has destroyed bone tissue.
There are a number of medicated patches or "bandages" that contain antibacterial medications and/or pain killers. This approach can be used alone or in conjunction with other methods.
Finally, the most advanced and convenient way to treat gum disease - especially very serious gum disease, is laser periodontal treatment.
5 Benefits Of Laser Periodontal Treatment
The use of lasers to treat gum disease brings with it a number of important benefits. It is worthwhile to locate a periodontist near you who has the tools and training to perform this kind of periodontal treatment.
The five most important benefits of laser periodontal treatment are:
- It saves you time. Laser gum surgery can normally be done in a single sitting, usually in a couple of hours. This saves time and makes treatment more convenient.
- It saves your gum tissue! Smart lasers distinguish between healthy and diseased gum tissue and leave the good tissue intact.
- It can save you money. Because fewer dental visits are needed and re-infection rates are much lower, laser surgery can cost the same or less than other treatments.
- It's virtually pain-free. Most patients say they barely felt a thing during surgery, and there is little to no bleeding and swelling post-op.
- You recover faster. Overall recovery time is shorter, and you can go back to work within 24 hours typically.