At its earliest stage, gum disease appears as flaws in your smile, some discomfort, and possible bad breath. Unchecked, gum disease can not only result in these symptoms becoming more severe, it can even harm your systemic health and require serious medical attention. Research has shown that the same bacteria that cause gum disease can also cause conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Those bacteria can travel from your mouth through your bloodstream and find their way to your major organs. Dr. Jack O’Neill’s goal is to safeguard your overall health by maintaining your dental health. He achieves this by providing proactive, high-quality treatment in our Shreveport, LA office and educating you on proper dental hygiene habits to follow at home. If you do develop gum disease, you can count on him for comprehensive treatment. A board-certified periodontist, Dr. O’Neill is skilled and equipped to provide you with everything from scaling and root planing to osseous surgery and ongoing follow-up treatment, here in one convenient location.
The first steps in gum disease treatment are generally scaling and root planing. During scaling, we carefully remove bacteria and signs of infection from underneath your gums. With root planing we go down to the tooth roots, smoothing them out to clear away existing bacteria and to keep bacteria from developing again later.
In some cases, part of your gums may be diseased beyond treatment. For this, we will perform a gingivectomy—removal of the affected gum tissue. We can then replace the diseased tissue with gum grafting, which entails taking a tissue sample from the roof of your mouth or your gums and suturing it in place of the missing tissue.
During osseous surgery we retract the soft tissue of your gums to access and remove plaque, bacteria, and calculus (tartar) from deeper on the teeth and bone. We then reposition and suture your gum securely back in its original place. Healing after osseous surgery typically takes just a few weeks.
LANAP, or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, has revolutionized gum disease treatment by eliminating diseased tissue and bacteria without a scalpel. Instead, Dr. O’Neill can remove the tissue with a laser that also sanitizes infected areas. He offers LANAP as a less invasive alternative to osseous surgery.
To keep your gum disease from returning, it’s important to continue treatment after your initial procedures have been completed. Ongoing periodontal maintenance appointments enable us to check up on your gums, perform deep cleanings, and also do more scaling and root planing as needed. By keeping all of your periodontal maintenance appointments and following Dr. O’Neill’s guidance for dental hygiene habits at home, you may be able to prevent gum disease from becoming a problem for you again.