You’ve Had Your Gum Disease Treated with LANAP. Now What?

You developed gum disease. It got worse. The infection started destroying the soft tissues that help hold your teeth in place and the alveolar bone that supports them. It advanced so much that standard periodontal therapy wasn’t enough. Instead of going with gum surgery and grafts to solve the problem, you opted for LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure).

Wise choice.

Unlike conventional treatments for periodontitis – the clinical name for advanced gum disease – LANAP is a revolutionary treatment that uses a specialized laser to remove diseased tissue and stimulate the regrowth of health periodontal tissues, even bone. It can both stop the progression of gum disease and reverse some of the damage that’s been done.

LANAP is a truly regenerative procedure that can deliver long-lasting results. The best insurance for making that happen? You doing your part to sustain the improvement.

 

Taking Care of Your Teeth & Gums Immediately after LANAP

Because the laser promotes faster healing of the nerves, lymphatics, and blood vessels in the treated areas, recovery time after LANAP is much shorter than that after conventional gum surgery. You may experience a bit of discomfort and swelling through the first 24 hours afterwards, but the symptoms are usually mild and can be relieved by ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, or plain aspirin.

You should be able to return to normal activities the next day. Still, you’ll want to be gentle with our mouth and carefully follow the post-op instructions we give you. They include things like

  • Don’t brush or floss the treated areas right away. Use warm salt water rinses or the alcohol-free, fluoride-free mouthwash we recommend to you to keep your mouth clean.
  • Don’t drink through a straw or put pressure on the treated areas, to preserve the blood clots that are part of the healing process.
  • Eat soft, easy-to-chew foods that won’t irritate the gums. Save crunchy and spicy foods for after you’ve healed.

The goal is to let your gums heal fully and properly. This typically lasts less than a week, although you may feel some occasional soreness for a while after as new tissues grow and firm up the attachment of your teeth to the supporting bone.

Maintaining Healthy Gums after LANAP

The real key to ultimate LANAP success comes after that first week of healing: addressing the conditions that brought on the gum disease in the first place.

By far, the most common change needed is dietary: reducing the amount of sugar and other refined carbs you eat, and increasing your consumption of nutrient-dense food. It’s especially important to include

  • Fresh vegetables and fruit, which are high in vitamins and minerals that support periodontal health. The most important nutrients include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K.
  • Lean proteins, which provide the building blocks for tissue repair.
  • Fish, flaxseed, nuts, beans, and other foods that are naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Oral hygiene is another area where most folks can really step up their game. Brushing twice a day with fluoride-free toothpaste and flossing once a day is the minimum. Some especially helpful additions to that routine are coconut oil pulling, applying ozonated oil to your gums, and/or using an oral irrigator to deliver ozonated water to and under your gums.

Regular dental exams and cleanings are also a must, so we can monitor your ongoing improvement and help you keep your mouth as clean as possible. Where you might once have been asked to come in for cleanings three times a year (or even more!), we may be able to reduce that to just two cleanings so long as your gums remain healthy.

Other aspects of lifestyle are also important for supporting healthy gums, including exercise, stress reduction, and sleep. Deficits in these areas have been linked with a higher risk of gum disease. In fact, just this month, a new review of the science found that “getting too few hours of sleep nightly may be associated with a significantly greater risk of developing periodontitis.”

By following these tips and working closely with us, you can help ensure the long-term success of your LANAP treatment and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.