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Research is showing the undeniable contribution of gum disease to systemic disease. Diabetes, stroke, heart disease, low birth weight, and dementia have all shown strong connections to the health of the gums. Periodontal disease is a disease that affects the entire body and should not be taken lightly.
Over time plaque hardens into tarter, which can irritate gums so much they begin to pull away from the teeth.
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, or if you find that you are unable to get rid of bad breath, it may be a sign of gum disease.
Gum disease symptoms often include:
If left untreated gum disease can be devastating. Some long-term effects may include:
There are many reasons you may be experiencing gum disease. The primary risk factors include:
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is caused by plaque buildup around the gum line which causes inflammation. If you neglect to brush or floss your teeth daily, this plaque buildup will trap bacteria, and gums that should otherwise be pink will appear red and swollen and you may experience bleeding when you brush or floss. However, at this point, gingivitis can still be reversed. The bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place have not yet been affected.
If gingivitis is left untreated, the infection progresses into periodontitis. At this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums will begin to form pockets, deep hollow areas around the teeth that trap food, plaque, and bacteria. Your gums may begin to recede, forming gaps between your teeth. Immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further damage and tooth loss.
In the final stage of gum disease, the bacterium that has been allowed to spread has destroyed the connective tissues and bone that support the teeth. The pockets that formed in the previous stage have become much deeper. This can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. Loose teeth that move around in the mouth may affect your bite. At this state, aggressive treatment is needed to save the teeth.
Three out of four Americans experience gum disease during the course of their life. The condition is common and treatable when detected early. However, when left untreated it can lead to pain, infection and eventual tooth and bone loss. Dr. Colleran believes in providing the best technology and techniques for periodontal treatment and is proud to offer LANAP or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. Dr. Colleran is also an instructor for the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry, which teaches LANAP and other laser dental procedures to dentists from across the globe.
LANAP is currently the only FDA approved laser treatment for the elimination of gum disease. The unique dental laser removes the infected gum tissue and tartar under the gum line. The laser also disinfects the area, selectively killing all bacteria that then allows for new, healthy bone to grow. The small, sterile wound is then sealed to the root surface.
With conventional gum disease treatment methods, not all bacteria are eliminated, so recurrence is a common problem. Laser therapy stops the infection and eradicates all bacteria leaving the gum pocket disease-free. Tissue has time to heal and in some cases even reattaches to normal depth. As there is no need for incisions or stitches, there is little bleeding or swelling if any at all. There is little to no discomfort during the procedure and requires a short recovery time.