The Benefits of Using Lasers to Treat Gum Disease

Author: Dr. Joseph Zelig, DDS
Dr. Joseph Zelig, DDS

Dr. Joseph Zelig, DDS

Dr. Joseph Zelig, D.D.S., is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. A periodontist, speaker and educator, Dr. Zelig is currently practicing and providing dental implants New York City residents can trust at Smile in the City located in Manhattan, New York.
06.10.13 / 3:56 pm

As a dental professional, you clean all types of diseased teeth and gums. But are you using lasers to treat periodontal disease in your practice?

Periodontal disease begins to show up in adults in their 30s and 40s, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The NIDCR states that most adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease.

As a dental professional, you know that everyone harbors bacteria in his or her mouth that leads to plaque buildup. Routine hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, helps to get rid of plaque, but if the plaque solidifies and forms tartar, brushing and flossing will not remove it. The professional skills of dentists or dental hygienists are required to regularly perform cleaning treatments to remove this tartar. Laser tools help with this cleaning, and you can use them, as thousands of dentists already do, easily and safely.

Gingivitis and periodontitis

LANAP — or laser-assisted new attachment procedure — uses lasers to vaporize and remove diseased tissue from the mouth. First, the laser’s heat strips away the diseased gum. Then, the laser fires a second time to heat the area until a clot is formed, cauterizing the wound.

The PerioLase laser used in LANAP treats a range of conditions because its settings are easily adjusted and because the menu can be programmed for a specific procedure — haemostasis, implant surgeries (second-stage), biopsies, frenectomies and gingivectomies.

The two main gum diseases treated with LANAP are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is sometimes termed non-destructive periodontal disease where patients experience inflammation and bleeding of the gums resulting from the buildup of plaque. Gingivitis can spread through bacterial infection to become periodontitis, causing the gums and bone structure in the mouth to deteriorate. The teeth may separate from the gums and surrounding bone structures through infected pockets containing tartar.

Treating periodontal disease

Research from the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that using lasers as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) may improve the effectiveness of this procedure. In addition, when lasers are used properly during periodontal therapy, the patient experiences less bleeding, swelling and discomfort during surgery.

Each laser has different wavelengths and power levels that are appropriate and safe for different periodontal procedures. However, damage to periodontal tissues can result if an inappropriate wavelength and/or power level is used during a periodontal procedure.

LANAP can also be used to remove the decayed portion of a tooth, such as the tartar and bacterial infection, and then to prepare teeth for further treatment, such as fillings or crowns. Similar to root canal treatment, this procedure removes infection from gum tissue and reshapes it.

In addition, LANAP can painlessly and safely provide connective tissue attachments where the epithelium between the connecting tissue and membranes is missing due to damage, and can also restore the periodontal ligament fibers that connect the alveolar bone to the cementum.

Laser treatment

Increasingly, many dentists like you use laser therapy daily to remove plaque and tartar from their patients’ teeth.

Generally, using lasers to treat gum disease involves the following steps:

1. Pre-testing bacteria to determine the extent of the infection

2. Decontaminating the deep pockets with laser treatments

3. Executing treatment with a microscope

4. Testing post-treatment to validate the results of laser treatment

Regular check-ups and the use of simple and timely treatments help to maintain the results of laser treatment.

Dentists are using lasers to treat:

  • Tooth decay. Lasers remove decay within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for fillings. Lasers are also used to harden a filling.
  • Periodontal disease. Lasers reshape gums and remove bacteria during root canal procedures.
  • Biopsy or lesion removal. Lasers remove a small piece of tissue so that it can be examined for cancer.
  • Teeth whitening. Lasers speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures.

Benefits of laser treatment:

Using lasers represents the leading-edge treatment to fight periodontal disease. Lasers provide a revolutionary and painless option to kill harmful oral bacteria, plus they allow you to preserve teeth that may have been lost with standard periodontal disease treatments.

Here are seven benefits of using lasers to treat gum disease:

1. Eliminates bleeding of the gums immediately

2. Seals deep periodontal pockets

3. Eliminates cutting the gums, soreness and other discomfort caused by surgery

4. Reduces or eliminates loose teeth

5. Regenerates bone and ligament tissue

6. Enhances the possibility of success

7. Offers an easy solution in case of a setback

Compared to the traditional dental drill, lasers:

  • Cause less pain in some instances, so the need for anesthesia is reduced
  • Reduce anxiety in patients uncomfortable with the use of the dental drill
  • Minimize swelling during soft tissue treatments
  • Preserve more of the healthy tooth during cavity removal

The American Dental Association (ADA) is optimistic about the role of laser technology in the field of dentistry. (Note: Dental lasers are different from the cold lasers used in phototherapy for the relief of headaches, pain and inflammation.)

How do you use lasers in your dental practice?

Dr. Joseph Zelig, DDS

Dr. Joseph Zelig, DDS

Dr. Joseph Zelig, D.D.S., is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. A periodontist, speaker and educator, Dr. Zelig is currently practicing and providing dental implants New York City residents can trust at Smile in the City located in Manhattan, New York.

48 responses to “The Benefits of Using Lasers to Treat Gum Disease”

  1. Gum disease are now a days very common because of the bad eating habit of a person. And it is nice that medical science is inventing the techniques that make a patients treatment easy and effective. And there are qualified benefits that are noted here. Very impressive bit of information here, Thanks for this informative post.

  2. Gum disease can be terrible. A gradual weakening of our gums can lead to tooth loss; forcing us to alter our diet and meaning that we lose our award winning smile. It is therefore vitally important that treatment for gum disease is sought as soon as it is identified. Treatments for gum disease at Occidental of Brooklyn can range from medication to surgical. The more advanced the condition, the more likely that surgical treatments will be necessary.

    TMJ dentist Brooklyn

  3. We use lasers not only to treat gum disease but specialize in laser gum lift as well. We marketed it well as a non evasive procedure and have gotten good responses from patients that we have done the procedures on.

  4. Lasers these days are being used for just about everything. It’s great to see dentistry utilizing lazer technology in the cleaning of teeth. I know for one I welcome it and I hope for more innovations in laser technology in the future.

  5. Nice Information Blog post. Laser treatment has many benefits. It helps to cure infected gums without making any cut, and also ensure fast recovery. My family doctor Dr.Ratna Indah is specialized in laser therapy, and very knowledgeable.

  6. Thank you for sharing a lot of information about Laser. I’ve read in an article that it usually minimizes the bleeding and post operative complication. In this article, I’ve learned that it can also be used in teeth whitening! I thought that it is only applicable for gum diseases. Guess, I was wrong!

  7. Plaque build-up is a big culprit of bad breath and it also makes teeth vulnerable. Bacteria in plaque can erode teeth enamel and inflammation in gums. This laser technique can be very effective way to cure priodontal disease.

  8. What about the set backs, are there any risks? No to even mention a $750.00 for partial treatment.

  9. I would be extremely scared to see any lasers being pointed in my mouth! There needs to be safer and efficient ways in tackling gum disease. However, those who are young need to realise that gum disease infact is more serious than we most think! Oral health care is imperative for the future. Thanks!

  10. From my experience laser is the most efficient way to fight against gum diseases and other dental related problems.
    I had laser periodontal treatment at toronto, which was painless. One of the major advantage which laser treatment holds is it needed less time and effort. I think now a days dentists are much interested to do laser dental treatments since it is more comfortable and easier.

  11. The most well-known reason for dull gums is the development of overabundance melanin develop in the gums, making them look cocoa or dark rather than pink. This is not an infection but rather simply being more normal in certain ethnic gatherings with African or Middle Eastern set of relatives.

    Orthodontist Dubai

  12. Thanks, Dr. Joseph Zelig for sharing such an informative idea. As I’m closing to 30 this idea will help me a lot. But i think an electric toothbrush could solve this issue a bit quicker because as it got precise mood for gum cleaning.

  13. I had this done and it is absolutely amazing. The cost was about 4000 dollars with insurance covering 1200. I paid about 2800 out of pocket. I had severe periodontal disease. Healing was about 2 weeks before being cleared to floss, brush and eat on the side that was treated. The periodontist will sedate the patient, so you do not feel any pain with this procedure at all. My gums have changed their color and are no longer puffy, breath is fresh and clean, even when waking up in the morning. The gums have tightened up around the base of my tooth providing tighter teeth and I no longer bleed when brushing. I highly recommend this procedure to anyone that needs periodontal treatment and is able to afford this. You will not regret it.

  14. My brother has been wanting to go to the dentist because his gums have been hurting a lot. You mentioned that LANAP uses lasers to vaporize and remove diseased tissue from the mouth. I didn’t realize how serious gum disease and periodontitis is. Do dentists offer this procedure or is there a specialist to be referred to?

  15. pros of treating gums disease with laser treatment is really a great work and my grand ma had this problem but i don’t no what is the cause for that disease and how to take measures, you have now told about the disease with a brief explanation.

  16. Awesome post! A very good step-by-step guide especially for a beginner like me. It’s overwhelming with information, thank you for making it easy and very detailed.. I’ll pop some questions here, if I need help, hope that’s okay.

  17. How does the gum Disease are formed and how can i prevent those disease intially, can you please say some measures please tell me about that which will helpful for future generations.

  18. I had a implant that failed now they are saying I need 6000 worth of laser lanap before they will replace implant is that necessary? I have gone every 3 month for teeth cleaning

  19. Take benefit of advanced technology to help solve your gum problem. Dentistry has changed a lot and people are coming for a change. It has made painless machine to instant result to make you look better.

  20. […] It is important that during the healing period the tooth is not in hyperocclusion. That is, being hit too hard by the opposing tooth. For that reason it is often necessary to adjust the bite and protect the involved teeth with a nightguard. This therapy promises wonderful help for severely infected gums without the need for conventional surgery. For more reading you may want to take a look at this longer, more general article on how laser treatments are used by periodontists. […]

  21. I just had this done. I was told it would be painless. It was, in fact, extremely paunful. The man administering the procedure had been doing it for a year or more, and was earnestly surprised that I was in pain. Just wondering how common this is. I am a redhead, which I have been told may cause me to experience dental pain more severely. Any thoughts? How frequently do patients experience pain? Despite the pain, I am still pretty excited to have my immune system kill my gum disease for me. Wish I had been prepared for the ten minutes of excruciating gum pain, thought (short, at least!)

  22. gums in tooth is one of the biggest probleme. with the help of new technology like electric toothbrush and lasers we can over come with gum prob. thanks for sharing this infomative article.

  23. I had the procedure on boh left and right side. I had left side done Tuesday. I have a very red sore with a small yellow center. I wonder if laser hit my tongue or maybe I bIt it when mouth was still numb. Any suggestions to relieve the pain. Thanks


  25. Thank you Dr. Joseph Zelig for publishing this informative post! It’s definitely not a secret that gum health affects the health of teeth also, so many people overlook this fact. Another positive to having healthy gums is that it improves confidence with a beautiful smile. High quality dental veneers with a proper finishing line for example will prevent gingivitis , bleeding gum and bad breath.

    Veneers Dubai

  26. I had a implant that failed now they are saying I need 6000 worth of laser lanap before they will replace implant is that necessary? I have gone every 3 month for teeth cleaning

  27. Periodontal disease is just as typical as its preventive solutions. Hard to believe, but true! It is possible to steer clear of becoming the victim of this unpleasant, uncomfortable irritating affliction by simply looking at common items in your house. The solutions may just be in the kitchen cupboard.
    1. Salt; A Surprising Disinfectant: If you swill orally twice daily with warm salty water regularly, the periodontal disease will be reduced drastically. It’s hard to find a house without salt so locating it shouldn’t be a challenge! The salty water doesn’t just kill the harmful germs within the mouth but restores the beneficial bacterias.
    2. Vitamin C: Vitamin C will not remedy your gum disease; but it is helpful with recuperating from its ill effects. For instance, it will take proper care of the bleeding and also the soreness due to the infection, thus limiting your uncomfortableness to some degree. It also performs a huge role in stopping the gums from receding any further.
    3. Lemon: Fresh lemon juice has an acidic makeup. It destroys the harmful bacterias successfully, thus, stopping teeth from additional damage. Furthermore, it dissolves the plaque and assists the teeth to become free from gum disease. Go ahead and take a fresh lemon and squeeze it in the hot water. Swill it around your mouth thoroughly. Stick to this regimen consistently to obtain fast and effective benefits.
    4. Tea Tree Oil And Oil Of Clove: These plant based oils are natural disinfectants. They avoid the bad bacterium from adhering to the surface of the teeth. Not just that, but these natural oils are the best known home remedy to begin treating halitosis bad breath, bleeding gums, toothache as well as sore mouth.
    5. Massage your own gums on a regular basis. Like your body benefits, so too your gums also can benefit from a great therapeutic massage. So make good utilization of your thumbs as well as index fingers . Massage your gums each and every time you brush your teeth. This improves the blood circulation and leads to strong gums! Some electric toothbrushes offer a “massage” and “gum care” cleaning modes, so you should consider buying one.

  28. Gum desease leads to tooth loss. Replacing lost tooth is expensive so the best thing is to stay on top of your gum health by massaging gums, dealing with plaque through flossing and using preferrably an electric toothbrush and ofcourse using laser treatment as spelt out in this post.

  29. I have been suffering from gum disease for the past two years, including bleeding gum and swelling, this is a typical symptom of periodontitis. The dentist told me that high blood pressure is one of the causes of my gum problems. He suggested me to use the electric toothbrush which is better for cleaning and helps to care for gums. So I brought an Oral-B, it has the unique brushing modes called “Gum Care” and “Sensitive”. I used it twice a day and 2 minutes for each time. I found my gum bleeding has improved greatly, and the teeth are whiter than before after using the electric toothbrush for 3-4 weeks. I also found that there are the brush heads focused on gum health that you can buy separately, with this kind of special designed brush heads, the Gum Care brushing mode on the brush handle will have better results. Above is my personal experience, it’s a pleasure to share and discuss with you 🙂

  30. Now these days Lasers being used for every treatment. In Treat Gum Disease the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Laser treatments are non painful and good way to treat these type of diseases. Thanks for sharing this useful infomation.

  31. Thanks Joseph for this great article.

    You explained the benefits of using lasers to treat gum disease beautifully. Since, lots of people are sufferring by gum disese now a days, this article will certainly help those people.

    Keep up the good work!

  32. It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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