Gum disease (Periodontitis) can be a very serious condition, if left untreated. Periodontitis is a disease caused by a bacterial infection that develops at the gumline. The infection causes pockets to form as the gums begin to pull away from tooth roots. Plaque and tartar can then build up within those pockets worsening the infection and eventually leading to other health issues such as tooth loss, halitosis, and lung disease and heart disease. Pain, redness, sensitivity at the gumline and swelling are common symptoms of periodontitis.
Once a patient has periodontitis, that patient will always be susceptible to recurring infections, so proper care and treatment is an absolute must. However, periodontitis CAN be managed by visiting your dental hygienist regularly to keep the gums clean and clear and to prevent any infection from recurring.
Scaling and Root Planing (SRPs)
A Scaling and Root Planing procedure is a deep cleaning technique that removes the infection from beneath the gum line. This procedure is usually the first step in allowing the gums to begin to heal and helping to return your mouth to a healthy state.
Your Hygienist will perform dental scaling using special tools, either manual tools, ultrasonic instruments, or a combination of the two. Sonic vibrations are used to remove the buildup of plaque, tartar, and biofilm from the tooth surfaces as well as under the gum line. In addition to this deep-cleaning method, the Hygienist performs root planing, which smooths out the surfaces of the tooth root. Uneven surfaces provide a safe haven for bacteria to build up, eventually forming a biofilm, plaque, and tartar. It is more difficult for bacteria to collect on smoother surfaces, so planing not only helps eliminate plaque and tartar that has built up, but also helps prevent future buildup that can lead to a recurrence of gum disease.
Scaling and root planing treatment is usually done in two visits to ensure a very thorough deep clean. This deep clean can leave your mouth sore, so breaking up the visits allows part of your mouth to heal for a short time before the next section is cleaned.
After your scaling and root planing treatment, be sure to take good care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting Orchard Dental Care about every 3-4 months. If you practice good dental hygiene after treatment for gum disease, your gums can recover, and you can avoid recurring Gum Disease in the future.
Perio Maintenance Cleanings
Regular periodontal maintenance scaling is vital to maintaining gum and bone health following SRPs. This procedure includes the removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, all the way down the length of each tooth to where the root, gum, and bone meet. Rough areas of the roots are smoothed if needed, pocket depths are carefully monitored, and inflamed pockets may be irrigated with antibacterial medicines if necessary.
Periodontal maintenance is usually performed 3 to 4 times a year, depending on several factors, including how quickly the plaque and tartar accumulate, how much bleeding or inflammation is present, how stable the present condition is, how well you are able to maintain your teeth at home on a daily basis, and any health risk factors you may have.
Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR)
It is a non-invasive, painless dental procedure. With the Gemini Diode laser, our dental team is able to kill almost 100% of the bacteria located in the gum pockets around teeth.
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy (LAPT)
A non-surgical procedure used during deep dental cleanings, such as root planing and scaling procedures, to remove the diseased and infected soft tissue in gum pockets. The removal of this tissue with the diode laser also sterilizes the gum pocket and kills the harmful bacteria. The dental laser promotes instant healing of the soft tissue while reducing the size of the gum pockets and preserving the bone height around teeth.
Gum Contouring (Gingivectomy & Gingivoplasty)
Gum contouring is the precise shaping of the gum tissue to improve the health and appearance of the gums around the teeth. A gingivectomy or gingivoplasty is most commonly performed after orthodontic treatment to reshape the gum tissue, when there are gaps or pockets that have formed between your teeth and gums, following dental implants procedures or for cosmetic reasons. The Gemini Diode laser offers the most precise control of tissue cutting for these types of procedures.
Treatment of Cold Sores and Cancer Sores
The Gemini Diode laser can help prevent the unsightly eruption of cold sores or fever blisters. If the blister or cold sore has already erupted, the dental laser can reduce pain, swelling and healing time. The diode laser can also treat painful sores inside your mouth caused by trauma on your cheeks, tongue or lips. These procedures do not require anesthetic and are virtually pain-free.
What To Expect From Laser Cold Sore Treatment
Laser cold sore treatment may be performed before or after a lesion has developed, and in almost all cases, patients report feeling nothing more than a warm sensation during the brief procedure. If the cold sore has already “broken out,” the laser brings immediate relief from pain and stops the blister from progressing further. Typically, the patient’s lip will return to normal in a matter of days, and the location of the sore will remain comfortable during the healing process.
The best aspect of treating cold sores with the Gemini Diode Laser, however, is the long-term effects—after each subsequent treatment, cold sores return less frequently and with less intensity. Some patients have even experienced “breakout-free” periods of over a decade!