Gum Disease Treatment in Marietta & West Cobb
Periodontal (gum) disease affects more than 50% of US adults over 30, and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss for patients in the same demographic. Additionally, advanced gum disease (periodontitis) has been linked to a number of chronic and systemic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. While any patient may develop gum disease, risk factors include:
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Poor oral hygiene
Gum issues begin when plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line and irritate the soft tissue. This early form of periodontal disease (gingivitis) causes mild irritation and bleeding while brushing and flossing. This may seem like a relatively harmless condition, but left untreated, gum disease creates sores that break down the fibers connecting teeth and gums. This loss of connective tissue leads to deeper pockets between teeth and gums, allowing teeth to move in their sockets and eventually fall out. Symptoms of periodontitis include bleeding gums, red or swollen gums, consistent bad breath, receding gums, and teeth that feel loose or do not fit together the way they used to.
Dr. Michael L. Howard offers a variety of treatments for patients at every stage of gum disease, including:
- More frequent teeth cleanings – in the early stages, gingivitis can typically be reversed with more frequent professional teeth cleanings.
- Scaling & root planings – as periodontal disease advances, scaling and root planing may be necessary. Scaling is the removal of plaque and tartar below the gum line and root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future buildup.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
Unlike other treatments for periodontal disease, Nd: YAG laser dentistry offers superior results. The treatment is quick and painless. First, we apply a small amount of local anesthesia. Then, we use the laser to remove plaque and tartar from teeth. We irrigate the gum pocket and sterilize the tissue to remove bacteria and prevent further infection. The laser allows us to precisely target affected areas of tooth enamel and preserve healthy structure. The laser seals blood vessels, reducing bleeding, swelling, and the potential for infection. In most cases, patients are fully healed within a few days, and they only need mild over the counter pain relievers and cold compresses to handle discomfort and swelling in the interim.