Gum Disease is still the most prevalent disease in the world. Unfortunately, since it is usually not a painful disease, it often goes unnoticed. When gum disease is diagnosed many patients respond in horror, especially when considering the possibility of a surgical procedure. But there is good news at hand for those who know they have a gum problem.

It is important to understand that gum disease is not curable at this point in time. It is often compared to diabetes or high blood pressure, which are also incurable and often unnoticed diseases. Although these diseases cannot be cured, they can be controlled, and patients can continue to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The first line of defense against gum disease is to maintain a regular hygiene program or 'soft tissue program.' It's like changing the oil in your car; surely you don't drive your vehicle until the oil is gone. If you do, you know you will have serious financial consequences to pay. If you take care of your car, you will have it and enjoy it for a long time. If you don't, it can and will leave you stranded when you need it most. The key to healthy teeth and gums comes from the same idea: prevention. If you are true to your teeth, they will never let you down.

But now let's consider living with gum disease. Symptoms include bleeding while brushing; red, tender gums; gums pulling away from your teeth; excretion of pus when pressure is applied to the gums; permanently loose or separating teeth; bad breath, and several others. Oftentimes, people fail to treat this problem because of fear - fear of pain and fear of hearing the reality of the situation.

New laser technology has been developed and approved by the FDA to treat this disease. The laser is a light source from the infrared end of the spectrum that uses low energy power to treat the gums, often without anesthesia. That's right, oftentimes no injections are needed, even with deep pockets. The low power of the light kills the bacteria for up to three months (according to the leading periodontal journal), seals the vessels and nerve endings, and produces little if any pain for the first three days after the procedure. On the third day, the nerve endings begin to regenerate and what little pain there is can be managed quite well with Ibuprofen.

On a side note, the laser can also be used to treat cold sores with no anesthesia, providing immediate relief. With follow-up treatment, many report a disappearance of the sores. So, make a resolution to take better care of your teeth. Your practitioner, like Hagen Dental Practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, should be glad to help you prevent bad things from happening. If you don't, trust me, you will never realize how important your teeth are to you until they are gone.

By Todd McCracken