As the dental director of the Center for Dentistry in Naperville, Illinois, Dr. Carl Henley often fields questions about periodontal disease, which is an inflammation and infection of the tissues that surrounds teeth. Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease. Dr. Carl Henley explains that the most common signs of periodontal disease include:

1. Pain and swelling of the gums

2. Redness around the teeth

3. Gum recession, which reveals more of the space between teeth

4. Bleeding while eating, flossing, or brushing

5. Bad breath

6. Loose teeth

7. Pus in the mouth—which signals the body’s attempt to fight disease

Individuals can avoid periodontal disease altogether by doing the following:

1. Getting regular check-ups

2. Practicing good hygiene, which includes regular brushing and flossing

People who believe they might have periodontal disease should go to the dentist as soon as possible for a diagnosis. If the disease is caught in its early stages, more intense treatments like bone grafts and laser pocket removal can be avoided. If left untreated, periodontal disease leads to tooth loss.

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Some patients express real concern about the sound and vibrations of traditional dental drills. At Carl Henley, D.D.S., F.A.G.D. and Associates, PC, we strive to provide our patients with comfortable, worry-free care and treatment. When possible, we utilize dental lasers to accelerate procedures, promote rapid healing, and put our patients at ease.

Lasers produce an extremely intense beam of light. Because laser beams can be extremely narrow and easy to direct, they prove very adaptable to surgeries and other medical procedures. The innovative technology tends to be very effective in diminishing pain caused by mouth sores, speeding up the process for tooth whitening and setting fillings, and detaching tissue for biopsies.

At our practice, we use a special dental laser called WaterLase MD to remove decay, from teeth without the need for anesthetic injections or drilling. While some cases necessitate the use of more conventional dental instruments, patients who are a good fit for laser dentistry often find that they experience painless procedures.

For more information about laser dentistry, call Dr. Carl Henley at (630) 357-9393.