Treating Gum Disease with Little to No Pain
If Dr. Provines has told you that you have gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, then you have a lot of company. Researchers estimate that approximately 50 percent of American adults have some degree of gum disease. This bacterial infection begins with plaque, the natural biofilm that accumulates in our mouths each and every day. If not routinely removed with proper oral hygiene care—twice daily brushing and daily flossing—then plaque hardens and becomes tartar. Then, the bacteria that hide in tartar can infect your gums. Fortunately, there is treatment. Dr. Provines, the laser dentist Sunnyvale trusts, uses LANAP®, an FDA-approved treatment for gum disease that is far less invasive than traditional gum disease treatment with a scalpel and sutures.
Early Symptoms of Gum Disease
Starting out, gum disease is marked by what many patients consider minor inconveniences or discomforts, if they recognize any symptoms at all. You may notice that your gums are slightly red and swollen; they may even bleed a little when you brush or floss your teeth. At this stage, which is called gingivitis, gum disease may be reversible with a professional dental cleaning and proper oral hygiene at home. If left untreated, however, gingivitis progresses to become periodontitis, which is marked by much more serious symptoms, including:
- Receding gums that may cause tooth sensitivity as more of a tooth’s root is exposed
- Periodontal pockets that begin to separate teeth from your gums and the underlying bone structure
- Visible infection, or pus, begins to accumulate inside these periodontal pockets
- Shifting teeth as the infection spreads and begins to destroy connective tissue and bone
- Tooth loss
As a matter of fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.
Reverse Gum Disease with LANAP Treatment
With LANAP, Dr. Provines can halt the advance of periodontitis and reverse the effects, so you can once again enjoy the benefits of good oral health. Treatment begins with x-rays, so we can make a positive diagnosis and see the extent of infection. The LANAP procedure usually requires two appointments that are each about two-hours in length. For your comfort, we’ll administer a local anesthetic and treat one side of your mouth at each appointment.
The LANAP laser attacks bacteria and tartar to disinfect the diseased tooth and periodontal pocket. With laser treatment, healthy gum tissue is preserved while infected tissue is destroyed. Moreover, LANAP may possibly save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted by promoting bone regeneration around the tooth.
After gum disease treatment with LANAP, patients heal faster and experience far less discomfort than with traditional gum disease therapy. In fact, many patients report that they do not need any pain relief medication after LANAP.