Gum disease, or periodontitis, gradually breaks down the gum tissue. Harmful bacteria in the mouth create plaque, a bacterial film that hardens over time to form tartar or calculus. This bacteria irritates and inflames the gums.
Over time, patients can notice problems like gum recession and even loose teeth if they do not receive proper treatment. However, with periodontal therapy, we can restore the smile. Treating gum disease early on can stop these problems and renew gum and tooth health. Smiles by Mia offers periodontal disease treatment to patients in Burke, VA.
Signs of Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Patients with gum inflammation or gum disease can experience:
- Gum sensitivity and pain
- Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Purple or reddish gums
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
Please call our office if you or a loved one has noticed gum disease. We will work with you to find the best solution to your symptoms. Gum disease has many stages. In the early stages of gum disease, we can easily reverse symptoms. Addressing symptoms without surgery or more invasive treatment becomes more difficult as gum disease progresses.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease cycles through different stages, increasing in severity as it goes. The earlier you notice an issue and seek treatment, the less invasive the treatment options are.
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one we can reverse. It occurs when you neglect regular oral healthcare, causing bacteria and debris buildup. This turns into plaque and tartar, coating your teeth. When this is happening at the gumline, these bacteria irritate the soft tissue, causing it to get red and inflamed. The most prominent sign you’ll notice is bleeding gums. Many adults suffer from gingivitis and may not even know it. The warning signs aren’t painful and may be hard to notice.
One of the reasons regular dentist visits are important is that we’re trained to pick up on these warning signs. We utilize more intensive oral healthcare to treat gingivitis. Instead of just coming into our office for a cleaning twice a year, we’ll bring you in more often. You’ll need to brush diligently at home, too. We may provide you with an antimicrobial mouthwash to lessen the number of bacteria in your mouth.
Mild Periodontal Disease
In this stage, the bacteria get more aggressive and start to attack your jawbone. No longer reversible, the disease can only be managed after this point. Pockets form in between your gum tissue and jawbone, filling with bacteria and debris. We use scaling and root planing to manage mild gum disease. We clean out those gum pockets and sterilize the area. Then, we smooth down the tooth roots so that your gum tissue can reattach properly.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The bacteria continue to get more aggressive. In addition to attacking the bone structure, bacteria get into your bloodstream, carrying infection and inflammation throughout your body. Like mild gum disease, we use scaling and root planing to manage the condition.
Severe Gum Disease
At this stage, the disease has evolved completely. You have severe bad breath that you can’t get rid of, your gums ooze blood and pus, and it’s painful to chew or speak. Since the infection is attacking the foundation of your teeth, they become loose and are at risk of falling out. Only laser periodontal treatment or gum surgery can manage the condition when it gets to this level.
Treat Gum Disease in Fairfax, VA
There are many options for patients in every stage of periodontitis:
Scaling and Root Planing
This non-invasive, non-surgical gum treatment provides a deep clean. Scaling treatment removes plaque buildup on and beneath the gum tissue. Root planing smooths down the tooth roots. Both scaling and root planing prevent gum recession and further gum irritation. Root planing helps the teeth reattach to the gum tissue.
We can also use a dental laser for painless periodontal treatment. Our WaterLase laser uses water and laser wavelengths to precisely cut diseased tissue. Many patients do not need sedation for laser treatment because it offers quick and comfortable treatment. We also often recommend gum grafting to provide healthy gum tissue for patients with receding gums.
Antibacterial Gels and Rinses
We also recommend professional antibacterial gels and rinses. Our team can provide an antibacterial gel after scaling and root planing. Perioscience dental gel, CTX4 tooth gel, or Chlorohexidine oral rinse. These rinses and gels protect the teeth and gums from reinfection.
The best way to prevent problems like gum disease is to brush and floss daily. Many patients don’t floss daily because they believe it isn’t an important part of their oral hygiene routine. However, flossing before brushing can help remove food debris and bacterial buildup for a more thorough cleaning.
Renew Your Gum Health
Do you need to treat your damaged, irritated gums? Call our office today at (571) 789-1265 or request a dental appointment on our website.