Gum disease affects of 75% of adults at some point in their lives and remains a leading cause of tooth loss today. For most, this is due to a lack of dental care and poor oral hygiene which enables harmful bacteria to damage gum tissue and cause bleeding gums. Healthy gums support healthy and strong teeth and also affect your overall health and well being: studies consistently show the link between poor oral health and an increased risk for cardiovascular and systemic disease.
There are several common signs of gum disease, including bleeding gums, but many patients do not realize they have it until more complex problems develop that can affect daily quality of life. Routine dental care is the key to lifelong periodontal health, but there are many factors that contribute to the development of gum disease- even for the most diligent of patients:
- Medical conditions
- Tooth trauma
- Poor diet
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Teeth grinding
- Certain medications
Stages of Gum Disease
There are two key stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms.
- Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease that is characterized by red, swollen or irritated gums that may bleed when brushing your teeth. It is typically caused by bacteria in the plaque that builds up around your gums. Gingivitis can usually be treated conservatively with success to avoid further infection and damage.
- Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease with complex symptoms including receding gums and loose teeth. In this stage of gum disease, the bacteria in the plaque actually cause the gums to become infected which will result in damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Depending on the extent of damage or loss of tissue, we may recommend seeing a local periodontist to restore gum health.
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy
Dr. Cranham offers the advanced treatment options necessary to not only restore your periodontal health, but to maintain and enhance the aesthetics of your gums. Using a soft tissue dental laser, Dr. Cranham can offer comfortable, accurate treatment for periodontal disease that may have previously required oral surgery. Laser dentistry offers several key benefits for patients:
- Less bleeding and discomfort: with the need if only a local anesthetic, the heat generated by the soft tissue laser can gently remove diseased or damaged tissue and promote the body’s natural healing response.
- Accurate treatment, less downtime: using a dental laser allows for more “pinpoint” accuracy when compared to traditional surgical tools. Patients are often able to resume their normal routine within a day or two with only minor dietary restrictions to allow proper healing.
Enhancing Your Smile With Laser Dentistry
Dr. Cranham can enhance the aesthetics of your smile with laser dentistry, treating common cosmetic concerns such as a “gummy smile”. Soft tissue lasers can be used for crown lengthening, gingivectomy and a range of treatments to improve the health and appearance of your gums.
Schedule A Consultation
To learn more about how Dr. Cranham can treat your gum disease in the Norfolk, VA and Chesapeake, VA area, schedule a consultation today. Laser dentistry may be the solution to your periodontal or cosmetic concerns. Call us directly at 757-656-4109 or request an appointment online.