What is gum disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection of the soft tissues that surround the teeth. It’s caused by bacteria in the area that builds up, irritates the gums and causes them to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria and debris can accumulate.

The condition often develops due to poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, certain medications and genetic factors, and can lead to red, swollen and tender gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis, which does lasting damage to the underlying bone and causes loose teeth and persistent bad breath.

Benefits of laser periodontal therapy

Traditionally, gum disease is treated with a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing, which involves using specialized tools to clean the surfaces and roots of the teeth. In more advanced cases, surgery is typically required to clear away the infection and prevent the disease from doing lasting damage.

With laser periodontal therapy, however, our team will use a dental laser to remove inflamed gum tissue and eliminate bacteria. Once the diseased tissue is gone, we will use an ultrasonic cleaning tool to remove plaque from the root and gum line. This new and improved process comes with a number of appealing benefits for our Northridge & Woodland Hills patients, including:

  • No general anesthesia required.
  • Enhanced precision and the ability to target diseased areas of tissue.
  • Preserve more of your healthy gum tissue.
  • A less invasive procedure when compared to other treatment options.
  • Minimal pain, swelling and bleeding.
  • A swift recovery period.

Treating gum disease with laser periodontal therapy

You can expect your laser periodontal therapy to span two office visits spaced about two weeks apart, with each extremely comfortable appointment lasting one to two hours. During each visit, we will work on a different side of your mouth, applying the laser to the diseased tissue, treating the infection and killing bacteria in that area only. Once that process is complete, we will use the laser to sterilize the treated tissue, promote healing and encourage the growth of new bone.

After each appointment, you can expect a brief recovery period of about 24 hours, which will be characterized by very mild discomfort. In general, most of our Northridge patients are able to return to work the very next day without any side effects from their treatment.