Gum tissue is one of the most important parts of your mouth, as it supports your teeth and jawbone while creating a barrier against bacteria. The earliest stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, occurs when bacteria in your mouth causes gum inflammation. Professional dental cleaning – together with daily brushing and flossing, plus the use of an electric toothbrush and antibacterial mouthwashes – can often reverse early gum disease. However, if plaque is left to accumulate on your teeth, it hardens into tartar and releases bacterial toxins that irritate gum tissue.
Bleeding, swollen and tender gums are the most common signs of gingivitis. It’s important to be aware of these signs, and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holland as soon as possible if you notice any of them. You may also experience pain when chewing and chronic bad breath (halitosis). When left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into periodontitis, which causes gums to recede from your teeth and periodontal pockets to form. When bacteria infiltrates these pockets, this can result in an infection that can damage your bone and connective tissue. If left unchecked, this can lead to teeth loosening and falling out of their sockets. In fact, gum disease is by far the most common cause of tooth loss.
A 2013 study showed that the PerioLase MVP-7 laser resulted in phenomenal and comparable outcomes to conventional periodontal surgery while facilitating regeneration. Research also showed patients treated with LANAP had less recurrence of periodontal disease over time compared to those treated with traditional methods like osseous surgery. More recently, this successful gum disease protocol has been modified into LAPIP™, a laser approach to treat the serious postsurgical dental implant complication known as peri-implantitis.
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