If you have gum disease you are not alone. It is estimated that over 80 percent of the adult population has gum disease to one degree or another. Gum disease (periodontal disease) leads to destruction of the fibers that connect teeth to bone and can create a space that is called a periodontal pocket. You can keep 3mm or less pockets clean by yourself with routine brushing and flossing, but if you have pockets deeper than 3mm, it is impossible for you to clean and maintain them. As a result you have debris and bacteria living at the bottom of these pockets which leads to chronic gum infection. You may have noticed a bad taste or odor in your mouth at times from the gum disease.
Dr Vincent Tavormina may recommend a conservative non surgical treatment. First scaling and root planing removes the mechanical irritants to your gums and supporting bone and also removes a major part of the periodontal bacteria. After removing the tartar a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around the teeth. At the same time the laser will kill the bacteria that cause your gum disease and promote healing of your gums around your teeth. The FDA has approved the use of lasers for many dental procedures including the one just described.
Lasers are used because of the precise control they afford and the comfort they provide to the patient. Lasers perform many functions at once. Not only can a laser remove tissue, but it can also be used to seal blood vessels and nerve endings, reducing bleeding and postoperative pain and swelling. One of the biggest advantages of laser therapy is the fact that many times procedures can be performed with much less discomfort and postoperative pain than with conventional methods.
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