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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an extremely common condition that affects most Americans at some point in their lives. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which is typically characterized by red, swollen, and/or bleeding gums, followed by progressively more severe stages if left untreated, known as periodontitis. Even with a strict dental hygiene schedule, the disease can still develop, which is why it is crucial to regularly visit your dental professional for routine cleanings and examinations.

Should you develop gum disease, seeing a specialist like Dr. Lauer can help keep it under control, as they can perform treatments like laser periodontics to remove bacteria and prevent further damage from occurring. By getting prompt treatment, you can reduce your risk of gum recession, tooth loss, and more severe problems related to your overall health (known as the mouth-body connection).

What Does Gum Disease Look Like?

A person suffering from gum disease may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Red, swollen gums that bleed frequently
  • White spots on the gums
  • Gum tissue that is separating from the teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Loose or missing teeth

These signs of gum disease may begin slowly or happen fast. They can also affect either a few teeth at first or the entire mouth.

Smiling young man sitting in dentist chair

What Causes Gum Disease?

When bacteria in your mouth forms plaque along the gumline, the plaque can form into tartar and invade the soft tissues of your mouth, ultimately causing gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease will progressively get worse, leading to bone loss, shifting of the teeth, loosening of the teeth, and ultimately tooth loss and/or severe health complications due to the mouth-body connection. There are a number of issues that may lead to or exacerbate gum disease conditions, including:

  • Use of tobacco
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy/hormonal changes
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • Teeth clenching/grinding
  • Poor nutrition

“Very professional office,staff and very compassionate Periodontist Takes time to listen and also very informative. Highly reccomend.”

Bertha B. | Actual Patient

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

The most effective treatment for your gum disease will depend upon the extent of your oral needs. Dr. Lauer offers a variety of advanced treatments to help manage gum disease, including scaling and root planing, antibiotic therapy, and the virtually painless Waterlase MD laser technique, which can remove the bacteria and cleanse the gums of infection.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical gum disease treatment that removes harmful pockets of bacteria and cleans the base of the teeth. This is a standard and very effective method of reducing plaque and deep-set tartar, ultimately working to keep gum disease from getting much worse. Scaling and root planing is typically completed with the addition of laser therapy using Waterlase MD technology. This allows Dr. Lauer to effectively prevent gum disease from worsening.

Antibiotic Therapy

To help keep your gum disease under control, Dr. Lauer typically recommends antibiotic therapy to ward off harmful bacteria. To determine the exact type of bacteria that is contributing to your condition, he will utilize the micro-IDent®plus11 system by HAIN Lifescience. This advanced technology allows Dr. Lauer to take a bacterial sample from your periodontal pockets, which is then sent to a lab to be cultured and analyzed. Once the test results come back, Dr. Lauer can find the most effective antibiotic option to be used for your disease therapy.

Laser Treatment

The Waterlase MD system works by combining a high-energy laser with air and water to vaporize bacteria in deep periodontal pockets where bacteria thrive. As this harmful bacteria is removed, the device provides a cooling effect to minimize potential discomfort. The laser is then used to send beams of energy to provide a vacuum-like seal between the gums and the teeth. This process reduces the risk of more infection in the future and helps stimulate the body to heal itself. Since the Waterlase MD laser system is known for its precision, Dr. Lauer can provide meticulous treatment that only addresses the areas that need to be treated, preventing any harm to the surrounding tissues. In addition, Dr. Lauer can also improve the appearance of the gums when advanced-stage gum disease has taken its toll.

What Can I Expect in My Recovery from Gum Disease Treatment?

Laser gum disease treatment is less invasive compared to traditional surgery, making the recovery faster and more comfortable. You should experience very little bleeding and swelling after your procedure, since the laser only addresses the diseased tissue, avoiding trauma to the surrounding healthy areas. Patients can typically return to their normal activities with minimal downtime.

Since more severe cases of gum disease are not reversible, Dr. Lauer will advise you on how to ensure the results from your laser periodontal therapy last for as long as possible. This typically involves a stricter dental hygiene regimen and more frequent visits to your dental professional.

young woman cleaning teeth

How Much Does Gum Disease Treatment Cost?

The cost of your gum disease treatment will depend on the combination of techniques used. Dr. Lauer will perform an oral evaluation and recommend the most beneficial methods of treatment for your unique gum needs. Based on the details of your treatment plan, our team will provide you with a cost quote to help you budget for your procedure.