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Is Gum Disease Curable?

Posted on May 30th, 2023

Approximately 50% of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons that adults visit the dentist. The most common causes include poor oral hygiene habits, genetics, smoking, chronic illness, and some medications.

Left untreated, gum disease can lead to receding gums, jawbone deterioration, and tooth loss. Research shows that untreated gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. The good news is that it is 100% preventable, but the bad news is that once you have it, it cannot be cured. However, there are treatment options.

At Clarksburg Dental Center in Germantown, MD, we offer a variety of dental services for the entire family, including gum disease treatment. In this article, we’ll explain more about our gum disease treatment options including LANAP treatment.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a condition characterized by inflammation and infection of gum tissues. The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. However, some people are more susceptible to developing the condition than others due to genetics, overall health conditions, and lifestyle habits.

There are four stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Advanced

Unfortunately, once you have been diagnosed with gum disease, it will not go away. You will need to be monitored for the rest of your life for flare-ups. However, the condition is treatable and, if caught early enough, the effects can be reversed.

Treatment for Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common reasons people visit the dentist. Unfortunately, they are not always receptive to treatment. Many times, this is due to fear that treatment will be painful or that the treatment will not work. The team at Clarksburg Dental Center offers both traditional treatment and LANAP gum surgery.

  • Scaling & Root Planing

    One of the most common gum disease treatments is scaling and root planing. This procedure is a lot like a standard cleaning, but it goes deeper. The dentist will get beneath the gums, where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach, to remove bacteria and plaque buildup. This is usually recommended in the very early stages.

    While it can be completed in one visit, dental professionals recommend that it be carried out over at least 2 appointments. First, plaque and bacteria will be removed. Then, the root surfaces will be planed, or smoothed out, to prevent bacteria and plaque from reattaching. Since the procedure is fairly invasive, local anesthesia is typically used.

    The average cost of scaling and root planing is $150 to $350. However, your dental insurance may cover a portion of this treatment.

  • Laser Gum Therapy (LANAP)

    LANAP, or laser-assisted new attachment procedure, is a gum disease treatment that uses a laser instead of metal tools. Research has proven that this treatment is effective for all forms of gum disease.

    Laser treatment is less invasive than traditional scaling and root planing. There are no incisions or sutures required and the laser can target unhealthy tissue. One of the biggest disadvantages of traditional gum surgery is that some healthy tissue is typically lost as well.

    Benefits of LANAP surgery:

    • Lasers can be adjusted to fit the needs of the patient to create the best possible outcome.
    • Lasers remove and kill bacteria from gum pockets, reducing bleeding and/or swelling. After laser surgery, patients are less likely to require additional gum surgery
    • Lasers have higher accuracy and are less invasive than incisions, which means reduced anxiety and increased comfort for patients as well as less recovery time required. In addition, since there are no incisions, anesthesia is often not required.
    • Lasers can target unhealthy tissue and bacteria without harming healthy tissue and teeth.

    Risks associated with LANAP surgery:

    • User error: if not performed properly, LANAP could cause damage to the healthy gum tissue. The team at Clarksburg Dental Center has the experience and expertise to properly perform this procedure.
    • Damage to tooth: in some cases, the laser has caused damage to the surfaces of nearby teeth, even the tooth root. Many times, if caught early, the tooth can be salvaged.
    • Damage to nearby tissue: while the laser is targeted at unhealthy tissue, it is possible to damage nearby healthy tissue.

    LANAP is effective for most patients. However, it’s not appropriate for everyone, especially if your gum disease is too advanced.

    The cost of LANAP ranges from around $1,000 to $4,000, depending on several factors:

    • The severity of gum disease
    • Location of dental clinic
    • Experience/expertise of the dentist
    • Dental insurance coverage
    • Additional procedures

    Our office staff will work with your dental insurance provider to determine whether or not this procedure is covered. If you do not have insurance or if you need help, we can explain our financing options as well.

Can periodontal treatment reverse the gum infection?

Unfortunately, once you have been diagnosed with gum disease, it will stick with you for the rest of your life. Treatment will not reverse the infection. However, it will get rid of the infected tissue as well as remove any remaining bacteria from the mouth, which reduces your risk of a flare-up.

Who is a candidate for LANAP?

LANAP surgery is ideal for patients with moderate to severe gum disease. In addition, patients who have concerns about undergoing traditional gum surgery, are worried about healing and aftercare following surgery, or who are concerned about tooth loss or gum recession following surgery may want to consider LANAP treatment over traditional methods.

Schedule Your Consultation with Clarksburg Dental Center

If you believe that you may have gum disease- or if you’ve already been diagnosed- schedule a consultation with the team at Clarksburg Dental Center to learn more about your treatment options. LANAP offers many benefits over traditional treatments.

We are located in Germantown, on Crystal Rock Drive. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Our extended hours allow us to serve more patients. You can trust your entire family’s dental care to our professionals.

Gum Disease FAQs

If you have questions about LANAP treatment or other dental services, you can send us a message on our website or call the office. We will be happy to help! Below are some of the questions that we get asked a lot about LANAP treatment.

  • Does LANAP cure gum disease?

    Unfortunately, LANAP treatment does not cure gum disease. However, it does destroy the infected tissue and eliminates the bacteria from the mouth.

  • What is the success rate of LANAP gum surgery?

    LANAP gum surgery has a very high success rate.

  • How long does it take for LANAP to heal?

    The average recovery time for LANAP surgery is about 24 hours, which is much quicker than the 2 to 4-week recovery time following traditional gum surgery. In fact, you should be able to continue your normal activities with very little discomfort.

  • Does LANAP help receding gums?

    Yes, LANAP can help with receding gums. In fact, research has shown that it can regenerate gum tissue, facilitate the reattachment of gums to teeth, and stimulate bone growth.

  • Can LANAP fix loose teeth?

    Yes, LANAP can help fix loose teeth by stimulating jawbone and gum tissue regeneration. By strengthening these areas, you can strengthen the hold on your teeth, which means they won’t fall out.

  • Can I brush my teeth after LANAP surgery?

    You should return to your normal oral hygiene habits following LANAP surgery- but you will need to avoid the area that was treated for about 7 to 10 days.

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About Clarksburg Dental Center

Compassionate Team. Wonderful Experience. Affordable Care.

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