How A Laser Treats Periodontal Disease

Today lasers are everywhere – from Star Wars Jedis to laser printers to laser tag. Our Biolase laser uses water and light to treat periodontal disease. Often referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth; it is a major cause of tooth and bone loss in adults. Nearly 70% of adults have gum disease, however because gum disease is usually painless, you may not be aware that you have it.

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria (Biofilm) that is constantly forming on the teeth.

Some of the warning signs to look for:

  • Red, swollen gums that bleed easily
  • Consistent bad taste or bad breath
    Shifting, loose, or separating teeth
  • Change in the way teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures


The most important thing to know about gum disease is that you should NOT ignore it. Left untreated, gum disease will result in receding gums, bone loss, and you may ultimately lose your teeth. It’s also been associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer, so it is important for your overall health that you seek treatment.

Dr. Singletary at North Raleigh Periodontics uses one of the most current and technologically advanced methods of treating gum disease, the Erbium Chromium YSGG laser. This laser uses light and water to assist with treatment of a periodontal infection. The light is absorbed in such a way that the live bacteria is destroyed and the calculus (dead bacteria) is softened so it is easily removed. Infected tissue is removed and the potential for regeneration and healing is facilitated by the laser. As an added benefit, post surgery soreness is minimal. In addition to treating periodontal disease, laser therapy has been shown to have significant success in treating failing implants or peri-implantitis because of the laser’s ability to treat the implant surface and remove biofilm and titanium oxide.