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LASER PERIODONTAL THERAPY

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Gum and bone disease (periodontal disease) is a common infection that causes bad breath, sore gums, receding gums and bone and loose teeth. Sufferers may be putting their hearts at risk because the bacteria can attach to heart valves. This bacterial infection can also be transmitted to other people in your family through kissing and sharing utensils. A spouse has a 40% risk of acquiring periodontal disease.

Minor gums infections can be treated by ultrasonic and ozone cleaning with a hygienist, but more serious stages of gum disease usually need specialist care with a periodontist. Many times this involves surgery that can be costly and traumatic. The good news is with lasers we can offer more conservative and non-surgical treatment for moderate to serious gum disease. We work closely with a local periodontist to ensure that if results are not achieved with the laser that they are able to assist.

Laser gum disease treatment does not involve cutting and sutures. It is much less invasive, usually painless and without swelling. Healing and recovery are very fast and you don’t need to take extra days off work. This will save you time and money.

Treatment is done using two different laser wavelengths in a process known as Wavelength-optimised Periodontal Therapy.

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Advantages of WPT for patients

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WPT has an unsurpassed treatment success rate compared to conventional surgical methods. WPT is the most patient-friendly treatment of periodontal disease – much more comfortable than surgical treatments.

The procedure is fast, minimally invasive, there are no scalpels or sutures and bleeding is minimal.

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Frenectomy / Tongue Tie

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Laser Frenectomies and tongue ties

What is a tongue tie?

Everyone has a muscle attachment (frenum) that connects their lips to their gums. However, when this attachment is too close to the teeth, it can cause a gap (diastema) in between the teeth, usually the front upper teeth and the front lower teeth. Braces or orthodontics will not be able to close the gap without the fibrous frenum being removed.

The frenulum is a piece of tissue that attaches the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. You can see your frenulum in the mirror by opening your mouth and sticking your tongue out and up. When the frenum attaches close to the tip of the tongue and restricts its movement it is referred to as tongue tie.  The position of this attachment is quite variable and requires training to determine if it affects tongue movement.

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Feeding

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In a baby, tongue tie affects their ability to move their tongue properly and may affect breastfeeding. This occurs because the baby unable to extend their tongue out and underneath the nipple to create the proper suckling action.

Tongue-tie is one of the reasons a baby may be experiencing problems with breastfeeding. Early treatment usually results in a significant improvement in feeding for both the child and mother. Lactation specialists, early childhood nurses and speech therapists will often see this and can advise if a laser frenectomy or tongue tie revision is necessary.

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Speech

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A person with a tongue tie will commonly have a reduced ability to move their tongue and may not poke their tongue out as far as a normal person. Some children may be able to speak well and have normal speech but they sometimes find it difficult to articulate well. This can cause a child to be introverted or shy or scared of public speaking. When a speech problem is recognised it is advisable to have the tongue assessed. Adults may have no speech problems but sometimes get the frenulum caught between their lower front teeth which is annoying and painful.

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Other Consequences

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While the most common problems are with feeding and speech, the restricted tongue movement can make it difficult to remove food debris in the mouth. This can be a cause of tooth decay or jaw problems. The tongue can appear heart or fork-shaped which can make a person feel self-conscious

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Laser Treatment of tongue tie or frenectomy

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The conventional surgery to release frenums/frenulums is quite traumatic, painful and can take a long time to heal. With lasers we can quickly, precisely and almost painlessly remove the tissue making it more comfortable for you. There is minimal bleeding afterwards, no sutures and hardly any discomfort. Children go to school the day after and adults can go back to work the same day. Eating is normal and a baby will suckle immediately after the procedure!

Laser treatment of tongue-tie is safe for babies and Dr Chapala & associates frequently treats newborns and babies that are only several weeks old. A baby can often suckle immediately after the procedure!

Tongue before treatment
Tongue before treatment

Tongue after laser frenectomy (tongue tie therapy)
Tongue after laser frenectomy (tongue tie therapy)

Lingual frenum before treatment
Lingual frenum before treatment

Lingual frenum after laser frenectomy (tongue tie therapy)
Lingual frenum after laser frenectomy (tongue tie therapy)
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