How Laser Periodontal Therapy Treats Gum Disease

laser gum therapy

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, affects the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults and can range from simple gum inflammation (gingivitis) to serious damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth (periodontitis). Understanding periodontal disease and how laser periodontal therapy treats it can help you make informed decisions about your oral health.

Understanding Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease begins with the formation of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar. Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, where the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets that can become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, and the toxins produced by the bacteria and the body’s “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.

How Laser Gum Therapy Works

Laser gum therapy, also known as laser periodontal therapy, is an advanced treatment for gum disease that utilizes laser technology to treat infected tissue. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how it works:

Diagnosis and Preparation: The process begins with a thorough examination by a periodontist or dentist to assess the extent of gum disease. Once the areas requiring treatment are identified, the patient is prepared for the procedure.

Targeting Bacteria: A specialized dental laser is used to precisely target and eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. The laser emits a concentrated beam of light that can selectively destroy harmful bacteria while leaving healthy tissue intact.

Removing Diseased Tissue: The laser is then used to remove the diseased gum tissue surrounding the root of the tooth. This step is crucial for eliminating the source of infection and creating an environment conducive to healing.

Cleaning and Debridement: After the infected tissue is removed, the root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed (a process known as scaling and root planing) to remove any remaining bacterial toxins and calculus (tartar).

Promoting Healing: The laser stimulates the surrounding healthy gum tissue, promoting faster healing and regeneration. It also helps to seal the pocket between the gums and teeth, reducing pocket depth and preventing further bacterial growth.

Laser gum therapy is effective in treating periodontal disease, offering patients a less invasive and more comfortable treatment option with quicker recovery times.

Risks and Benefits


Precision: The laser’s precision allows for more targeted treatment, preserving more of the healthy gum tissue.

Faster Healing: Patients often experience faster recovery times and fewer complications.

Reduced Bacteria: The laser effectively kills bacteria, reducing the risk of infection and promoting better overall oral health.


Cost: Laser therapy can be more expensive than traditional treatments.

Specialized Training Required: Not all dental practitioners are trained to use laser equipment, limiting availability.

Potential for Incomplete Treatment: If not used correctly, there is a risk of incomplete removal of diseased tissue.

Laser Gum Treatment: Costs and Insurance Coverage

The cost of laser gum therapy can vary depending on the extent of the treatment required and the dentist’s expertise. On average, it may range from $1,000 to $4,000 per quadrant. Insurance coverage for laser gum therapy varies; some dental insurance plans may cover part of the cost, while others may not consider it a necessary procedure. It is essential to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage.

Possible Symptoms After Laser Gum Treatment

After laser gum therapy, it is common to experience some discomfort and sensitivity. Symptoms may include:

Slight Swelling: Mild swelling of the gums is normal and usually subsides within a few days.

Bleeding: Minimal bleeding may occur initially but should decrease quickly.

Sensitivity: Teeth and gums may feel sensitive, especially to hot or cold temperatures.

Laser Gum Treatment Aftercare

Proper aftercare is crucial for the success of laser periodontal therapy. Here are some tips:

Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions: Adhere to any specific care instructions provided by your dentist.

Maintain Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly, but be gentle around the treated areas.

Avoid Certain Foods: Steer clear of hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could irritate the gums.

Use Medications as Directed: If prescribed, use any medications or mouth rinses as directed to aid healing and prevent infection.

Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Regular check-ups will help monitor your progress and ensure the treatment’s success.

Laser periodontal therapy offers a modern, effective way to treat gum disease with numerous benefits, including precision and faster healing. By understanding the process, risks, costs, and aftercare, patients can make informed decisions about their dental health and work towards achieving and maintaining healthier gums.


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