Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, yet a large percentage of those affected opts against treatment, or avoid seeing a dentist at all. What you may not know, is that this condition can be addressed effectively in a gentle and minimally invasive way with the techniques and technology used at Richmond Smile Center.
The mildest cases can be treated with a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and planing, along with good hygiene. More advanced cases can be treated with a comfortable, highly effective laser treatment.
Comfortable solutions for periodontal disease
This high tech laser technique is fast, efficient, and delivers excellent results. The first step is always evaluation to confirm the presence and determine the severity of the disease. Many people are afflicted and do not even realize it.
Periodontal disease may be a risk factor for a wide variety of serious health concerns, including preterm birth, low birth-weight babies, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Additionally, individuals who have uncontrolled diabetes are at higher risk for developing gum disease.
Your complementary periodontal evaluation
We invite individuals who have concerns about their gum health to visit Richmond Smile Center for a complementary periodontal evaluation. Your doctor will perform a complete examination, explain the findings, and discuss treatment if needed.
- Complete oral exam
- Review of procedures
- Discussion of options
- Smile evaluation
- In-depth discussion and answering your questions
Laser gum therapy
At Richmond Smile Center, we use the LightWalker laser device in many treatments, including gum disease therapy.
This soft tissue laser treatment enables comfortable and convenient removal of tartar below the gum line, and facilitates enhanced healing. It allows us to address periodontal disease comfortably and quickly. With this system, we can gently and safely remove decayed tooth material without causing harm to adjacent soft tissue. It is also used in various periodontal treatments such as gum contouring, smile makeovers, and more.
The LightWalker laser is appropriate for mild to moderate cases of periodontal disease, as well as selected cases of advanced disease.
Causes and effects of gum disease
The number one cause of tooth loss among American adults is gum disease.
It is the result of a bacterial infection in the gum tissues. When healthy, these tissues are firm, pink, snug against the tooth roots, and do not bleed easily.
When bacteria and plaque accumulate around the teeth, and are not removed, the early stages of gum disease can set in. One of the first signs of trouble is bleeding while brushing your teeth. While many people assume this is normal, it is actually no healthier than a scalp that bleeds when you brush your hair. As the disease progresses, gum tissue separates from the tooth roots, opening pockets where larger volumes of plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria accumulate.
As the pockets deepen, the disease becomes more aggressive, sometimes spreading quickly. Your immune system will naturally attempt to stave off the infection in a process that includes inflammation. This, in combination with the destruction caused by bacteria, can result in damage to the periodontal ligaments and underlying bone tissue, eventually leading to tooth loss.
The single most critical aspect of maintaining gum health is regular dental exams, enabling us to identify and correct potential problems before they become severe.
Gum disease symptoms
The most common signs of gum disease include:
- Changes in the alignment of your teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth that is unrelated to pungent foods
- Bleeding of gums during normal oral hygiene
Cosmetic gum contouring
The shape and appearance of your gums are more important to your smile than you may realize. It is the frame surrounding your pearly whites, and it can cause teeth to appear too long, too short, or uneven.
Surgical treatment for the cosmetic improvement of the gums is usually performed with dental lasers, for precision and comfort. This is an excellent solution for an asymmetrical gum line or a gummy smile.
If you have concerns about your periodontal health, call Richmond Smile Center at 804.417.7203 and schedule a consultation today.