You may not know that almost 80% of the adult population (anyone in their mid-20’s and above) has some form of gum disease (gingivitis). Untreated gum disease can progress into periodontal disease (periodontitis) which, today, is the main reason most adults lose their teeth. Because gum disease often does not cause any pain, many patients don’t realize they have it, or they wait to treat it. At Chicago Smile Spa, we are dedicated to treating our patients conservatively and proactively offering laser dentistry for those in Chicago, Lincoln Park, Lakeview and surrounding areas.
Attacking gum disease in its earliest stages often prevents our patients from experiencing extensive, expensive, and sometimes painful scaling and root planing, gum surgery, as well as tooth loss. Using laser gum therapy, along with PerioProtect® and our revolutionary soft tissue treatments, Dr. Alfe and her team are striving to make gum disease a thing of the past.
Gum disease is caused by the colonization of bacteria underneath the tartar on your teeth. These bacteria produce byproducts and toxins that infect the gums and cause them to recede. Most insidious is the formation of a biofilm that keeps the bacteria against the teeth (picture a pair of nylon stockings wrapped around the teeth with the bacteria trapped safely inside). Daily brushing and flossing won’t disrupt this-you need to see your hygienist to have her remove it with an ultrasonic cleaner. Regular scaling and root planing isn’t even enough to disrupt and destroy the biofilm Only an ultrasonic cleaner like the Cavitron will eliminate the biofilm. Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen gums, bleeding while brushing, loose teeth, and chronic bad breath. Often, though, there may be no symptoms at all, until it’s too late.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive method that can be used in conjunction with other therapies, such as PerioProtect®. Our Ivoclar Odyssey diode laser painlessly and conservatively removes diseased tissue, while simultaneously disinfecting and cauterizing the area. The disinfected gums attach to the cleaned tooth more quickly, so your mouth can heal faster. Because the laser basically creates a scab and stimulates immediate healing as it works, sutures are not necessary after treatment. This, along with the way the laser calms the nerves in the treated area, makes the post-operative recovery completely painless in many cases. Lastly, the laser works by being activated and attracted only to diseased tissue. Diseased tissue has more blood and more pigment in it. The laser is stimulated by these and will only remove the diseased tissue, preventing much collateral damage. Anyone who’s ever gone through “scaling and root planing” knows it’s not uncommon to be uncomfortable during and after the procedure. Using the combination of laser therapy, the Cavitron, PerioProtect® and other aides, Dr. Alfe has helped many of her patients comfortably and affordably avoid gum surgery and tooth loss, if treated in time.
Dr. Alfe also uses the diode laser during smile makeovers to do non-surgical “gum lifts” for patients with a gummy smile. No stitches are necessary and there is usually no down time. Within just a few days, patients can immediately see the results. To see some examples of Dr. Alfe’s patients who have benefited from cosmetic laser gum lifts, visit our Smile Gallery.
No longer do you have to expect tooth loss to be a natural part of the aging process. Maybe you’ve been told that scaling and root planing, or gum surgery are your only answers to prevent tooth loss. If you want to save your gums, save your teeth and improve your smile and overall health, call or email Chicago Smile Spa today to see if laser gum therapy is an option that’s right for you. Dr. Alfe is proud to serve patients throughout the greater Chicagoland area including Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding Chicago communities.