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Laser Therapy For Gum Disease: Is It Right For You?

by Caitlin Obara

Your gums hold your teeth in place, making them a pretty important part of your mouth. If you have gum disease, waiting to seek treatment increases the risk that your gums will recede, making it more likely that you will lose some of your teeth. One of the available treatment options is laser gum therapy, a less invasive alternative to gum surgery. Here is what you need to know before discussing this procedure with your dentist.

Scaling Back on Plaque

Laser gum therapy is often used in conjunction with a procedure called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, a dentist removes plaque and bacterial toxins from the roots of the teeth. Doing so reduces inflammation and may slow the progression of gum disease. If you are interested in laser therapy, talk to your dentist to make sure you are a good candidate for the scaling and root planing procedure.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

You may be a candidate for laser therapy if your gums have receded, exposing the roots of your teeth. Not only do exposed roots change the appearance of your smile, they also make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold. If you are concerned about your appearance or tired of avoiding ice cream, milkshakes, coffee, tea, or hot foods, laser therapy can help.

Kicking Fear to the Curb

If the thought of undergoing invasive gum surgery has you cowering in the corner, you may prefer laser therapy over traditional gum surgery. In some cases, the dentist does not even need to use a local anesthetic to perform laser gum treatment. This procedure also causes less bleeding and tissue damage than traditional gum surgery, reducing discomfort and helping you keep your dental anxiety in check. If you suffer from severe dental anxiety, ask if your dentist is willing to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety medication for you to take shortly before the procedure.

Grafting for Success

It may be necessary to have a free gingival gum graft before you have laser therapy. If you need a graft, your dentist will remove a piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth and use the tissue to increase the thickness of your gums. This improves your chances of a successful outcome from the laser treatment. Gum grafts typically cost anywhere from $600 to $1,200 to treat the base of one tooth, so you may want to explore alternatives to laser treatment if a graft is not in your budget.

Laser therapy causes less discomfort than traditional gum surgery, but it's not right for everyone. For more information, visit or a similar website.