Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Gum Disease Laser Therapy
Dr. Whittaker is proud to offer the latest technology available for periodontal therapy: laser treatment. There are numerous advantages to using laser therapy as opposed to the traditional methods requiring a scalpel and sutures.
With laser treatment, there is reduced or no bleeding, minimized swelling, no charring, and no drill noise or vibration. The stress and anxiety often associated with dental work is therefore eliminated when you experience quick, effective, and essentially pain-free laser procedures. Also, postoperative sensitivity is greatly limited by laser dentistry, and recovery time is much quicker than with traditional methods. In fact, due to the less-invasive nature of the laser technique, the mouth begins to heal immediately after work is completed!
Reduced Risk of Infection:
The laser’s high-energy light beam acts as a sterilizer on the area it is working, thereby reducing the risk of bacterial infections and relapses.
Anesthesia Limited or Eliminated:
Because laser dentistry is virtually painless, no longer will you suffer with fear of injections and numbness. Often, only a light anesthetic spray is required. Laser treatment eliminates the complications and cost associated with anesthesia.
Dr. Whittaker can perform a variety of procedures using laser technology, such as a frenectomy, osseous surgery, and gum grafting. Dr. Whittaker is also able to use laser technology as a way to regenerate healthy gums and remove diseases areas in a virtually painless way. This method also encourages healthy gum to regenerate and attach to the teeth. There is a much lower chance of gum disease returning when laser therapy is used as opposed to traditional surgery.