October is recognized as National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month. Proper dental hygiene can maintain a bright smile and protect your gums from infection. Gum disease can be spooky, but advancements in laser dentistry have developed a minimally invasive treatment method, which has proven to be extremely effective. 

 

What Causes Gum Disease?

 

Gum disease occurs when harmful bacteria from tarter and plaque accumulate around the base of the teeth, specifically between the teeth and gum tissue. Inflammation and infection may be caused by this accretion and the following may be symptoms of gum disease: 

·         Bleeding gums

·         Gums that are red, swollen or tender

·         Shifting, loose teeth

·         Persistent bad breath

·         Teeth which may be seemingly longer in appearance

·         Alterations in bite structure

 

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

 

In the initial stages, gum disease may be remedied by a professional dental cleaning. A dentist or dental hygienist may assess specific treatment methods to remove tartar and plaque from the teeth, based on specific needs, and may finish with a strengthening fluoride treatment.

Scaling and root planing may also be utilized as a treatment method for gum disease. This is a nonsurgical deep cleaning procedure, which entails the removal of plaque below the gum surface, while smoothing the root of the tooth, providing a clean surface for new gum tissue to attach. 

More advanced gum disease may require surgical treatment. Flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, is a more in-depth form of scaling and root planing. Gum tissue is retracted from the tooth while the area is cleaned and smoothed accordingly.

 

Laser Surgery for Gum Disease

 

The LANAP® protocol is a safe and effective alternative to traditional surgery. In this procedure, pulsed laser light is used to eradicate diseased tissue and calculus from the teeth and gums. The laser may also stimulate the growth of new bone and gum tissue, reversing the damage caused by gum disease.

Dr. Laurence Breiterman is an award-winning dentist who specializes in the LANAP® procedure. For gum disease treatment in Paterson, NJ, contact Dr. Breiterman’s office at (973) 694-2835.