Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease- also referred to as gum disease- damages the gums and soft tissue that supports the teeth, and it is the No. 1 reason why adults lose their teeth. It affects about 75 percent of the population in some form. It is caused by plaque that is allowed to build up on the teeth over time.
Signs of periodontal disease include:
- Tender, red and swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Teeth begin to feel loose, spaces begin to appear between them
- Gums start to pull away from the teeth, which exposes roots and creates recessions
- Pus that appears between teeth and gums
- Your bite changes, or the way your teeth fit together becomes altered
Minor cases of periodontal disease may be treated with routine professional cleanings, scaling and root planing.
If more serious treatment is called for, an effective, practically pain-free treatment method is with the use of a diode laser. This method is less invasive than the traditional cut-and-suture method.
The laser is passed gently between the teeth and the gums to remove diseased tissue. A different laser setting clots the blood, which eliminates the need for sutures.
The laser also is useful in some cosmetic applications, such as gum sculpting. The laser can remove excessive gum tissue to remedy a “gummy” smile and lengthen the teeth for a cosmetic improvement.