Laser or Traditional Gum Surgery: How to Choose?


Periodontitis is a severe gum disease, which occurs when bacteria and tartar beneath the teeth infect the surrounding tissue. This condition is very destructive and may lead to a tooth loss or even jawbones decay. The early symptoms include swollen gums, bleeding, and bad breath. It’s better to start treatment at a moderate stage. Otherwise, it will develop into an advanced periodontal disease, which may become chronic without gum surgery.

Stages of periodontitis include:

  1. Gingivitis

The earliest form affects only gums, which become inflamed. They look red and swollen. A person may have an unpleasant or metallic taste in his mouth. Gingivitis occurs when food or plaque gets into the space between flesh and a tooth. This condition may be treated by deep cleaning and antibiotics.

  1. Periodontitis

Inflamed gums start to recede from the teeth and form gum pockets. That gives more opportunities for bacteria to spread and infect the gum tissues. Bacterial toxins affect the roots and teeth become loose. Depending on the depth of the gum pocket, they may be removed either by scaling and root planing or surgically.

  1. Advanced periodontal disease

Progressing infection leads to abscesses. Supporting fibers and bones become destroyed. A person starts losing his teeth. At this stage periodontitis becomes painful and osseous surgery may be necessary.

Why laser gum surgery is beneficial?

Modern technologies allow using non-invasive methods, which are preferable in most cases. LANAP® or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure has many advantages, as opposed to traditional surgery. There are no cuts and stitches. A laser beam removes only damaged tissue. After the elimination of inflamed tissue, the laser compresses the gum pockets, so they decrease to their normal size, which is 2-3 mm. Post-operating pain and discomfort are minimal or absent. Laser surgery allows you to get back to your usual routine right away. Full recovery comes within 24 hours after the procedure. Because of the mild intervention of the laser method, it is possible for supportive bones to regenerate. 

When should traditional gum surgery take place?

Though laser gum surgery has many advantages, it is not an option when it comes to severe periodontal disease cases when the supportive bones are damaged. That’s why your periodontist may suggest osseous surgery. The procedure is carried out under local anesthesia. The surgeon cleans all the bacteria and damaged tissue in a gum pocket. If the bone is damaged, it needs to be grafted. Sometimes a little piece of material is placed between the bone and gum tissue, for bones to regenerate. Then, the periodontist sutures the gums, so they stick closely to teeth. Recovery in this case takes a little bit longer. To minimize the postoperative pain, discomfort, and bleeding, you must follow your dentist’s recommendations. 

What should be done during the recovery period?

In order to successfully overcome the period right after surgery, you must strictly follow the doctor’s recommendations. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and a suitable mouth rinse to replace toothbrushing and dental floss until tissues heal. If you are an active smoker, try to eliminate the number of cigarettes you smoke a day. Smoking influences the effectiveness and length of the recovery period. Try to eat soft food and liquids. Dairy and jelly products will help jawbones to regenerate quicker. 

Once the recovery period is over, it is necessary to maintain proper oral hygiene to avoid recurrence. Regular visits to your dentist, proper brushing and flossing are a must-have. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day and don’t forget about hard-to-reach spots. A healthy diet with low sugar will also be helpful.