Gum disease is a common problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all American adults have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. In adults age 65 and older, the number rises to 70 percent.
Because it’s so common, you might think gum disease is no big deal. It’s actually the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. Even worse, research has linked periodontal disease to other chronic inflammatory diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
At Grandridge Dental, our Kennewick, WA dentists offer LANAP surgery, an advanced treatment that eliminates gum disease and relieves the uncomfortable symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of the signs of gum disease below, you should call us at [phone]. You may need a LANAP procedure.
Are You Experiencing Gum Disease Symptoms?
A common gum disease symptom is gums that are tender and/or swollen. Your gums may also bleed when you brush your teeth or floss. Sometimes, though gum disease symptoms are more subtle.
You should call us right away if you’re experiencing:
- Teeth that look longer (this may be due to gums pulling away from your teeth)
- Teeth that seem loose
- Chronic bad breath
- Sores in your mouth
- A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
Bacteria Causes Gum Disease
When bacteria in your mouth causes your gums to become inflamed, the result is gum disease. In its early stage it’s called gingivitis, and good oral hygiene at home and a professional dental cleaning may be enough to take care of the disease. If it’s not treated, your gums can pull away from your teeth and form “pockets.” If bacteria gets inside, it causes an infection that damages bone and connective tissue – and threatens your teeth.
Why LANAP Surgery Makes Sense
Most surgery on gums involves removing soft tissue with a scalpel. With LANAP surgery, our dentists use a laser instead. LANAP stands for laser assisted new attachment procedure.
The laser eliminates hardened plaque, called calculus, and bacteria and toxins that have collected near and under your gums. It also creates a seal between gums and teeth so bacteria won’t gather there.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of LANAP surgery is the comfort level. You’ll feel little if any discomfort before, during, and after LANAP. But there are other advantages too:
- LANAP is faster than traditional gum surgery, and can often be completed in a single treatment.
- Since no cutting is involved, there’s no need for stitches. This means a faster and simpler recovery.
- A LANAP procedure is cost effective, especially when you consider the potential expense of replacing lost teeth.
- LANAP targets only diseased tissue, so your healthy tissue is unaffected.
Prevent Gum Disease From Occurring
While LANAP surgery is an effective treatment, the best way to deal with gum disease is to prevent it. Home oral hygiene is your first defense. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. It’s especially important to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush along your gumline. This removes plaque and food debris to help prevent bacteria from collecting.
Floss between your teeth at least once a day too, as plaque tends to hide there. Avoid sugary food and drinks as much as possible to help prevent bacteria-filled plaque from forming on your teeth and around your gums.
Make sure you visit our Kennewick, WA office at least twice a year for professional cleanings. We use special tools to remove plaque you may have missed at home and tartar, the hardened plaque that can lead to gum disease, cavities, and other dental issues. We also look for signs of gum disease and other problems during your examination. Treating them in their early stages is easier and less expensive than treating bigger problems that may result.
To schedule an exam or ask us about LANAP surgery, call Grandridge Dental at [phone].