Lasers use light energy to perform work. Lasers are unique because they can treat targeted areas without affecting the surrounding areas. In addition, lasers may seal off blood vessels and nerve endings lessening bleeding, postoperative pain and swelling. In many cases due to their gentle and precise nature lasers are used with little or no anesthetic.
Lasers can be used for many procedures. These procedures include:
- Reshaping or removing tissue (Gingivectomy): The procedure may be done for periodontal or aesthetic reasons.
- Clipping Muscle attachment (Frenectomy): The procedure may be used to remove an attachment that is interfering with normal speech.
- Removing Soft Tissue Growths (Fibroma Removal): The procedure is used to remove excess tissue or growths that may be an aesthetic or functional issue.
- Gently removing swollen tissues (Gingivoplasty): The procedure is used to remove excessive tissue caused by systemic disease, medications, braces or poor oral hygiene.
- Treatment of Herpetic & Apthous Ulcers: Laser treatment is used to treat herpetic or apthous lesions, stopping the progression of the disease, cauterizing nerve endings and giving immediate relief from itching, burning, tingling or pain. Laser treatment bio-stimulates the area encouraging quicker healing, and in herpetic lesion cases, killing the viral particles. This allows an active lesion to immediately convert to the healing phase. Treatment of Herpetic lesions during the prodromal stage can stop the lesion from ever manifesting.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. Over time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
There are many forms of periodontal disease. These are most common:
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and healthy oral home care.
A form of periodontitis that occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
A form of periodontal disease resulting in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. Chronic periodontitis is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis. It is most prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
Periodontitis as a Manifestation of Systemic Diseases
Periodontititis, often when occuring at a young age is associated with one of several systemic diseases, such as diabetes.
Necrotizing Periodontal Diseases
An infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions including, but not limited to, HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.
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