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Periodontal treatment is important for preventing the spread of gum disease, which can lead to pain, bleeding, and potential tooth loss if left untreated. Fairfax Family Dental Care in Fairfax, VA, uses gentle techniques to remove harmful bacteria from your gums and alleviate the symptoms of gum disease. When symptoms are caught early, they can be easily managed and often reversed.
According to the CDC, almost half of Americans have some form of gum disease. Found along the gumline, this bacterial infection can affect both the soft and hard tissues of the mouth, eventually resulting in tooth loss and jawbone recession. If left untreated, gum disease can even lead to severe physical health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Even if your general health is intact, many patients will need complex restorative dentistry procedures.
While plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene are the leading causes of gum disease, other risk factors include smoking, chewing tobacco, hormonal shifts, poor diet, genetics, and prescription medications linked to dry mouth.
Some of the more common symptoms include:
Treatment can improve your oral health almost immediately. In some cases, it can even reverse the side effects entirely. The type of treatment prescribed will depend on the severity of the condition.
Neglecting your oral health can have a negative impact on your overall health.
For mild to moderate cases, a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing is generally recommended. This nonsurgical, noninvasive procedure can be completed in just one office visit. During the appointment, the doctor will remove plaque and bacteria above and below the gum line using an automated and handheld scaler. A root planing device is then used to smooth the root surface of the affected teeth to prevent future plaque buildup. By eliminating the unhealthy bacteria, your doctor can help your gums can heal and reattach to the base of teeth. The doctor may also apply an antibiotic gel along the gums to eliminate any remaining infection.
Advanced stages of periodontal disease are much rarer and often require gum surgery or gingivectomy. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and involves removing the infected tissue and carefully reshaping the gum line.
To prevent symptoms from returning, it is best to follow a good oral hygiene regimen of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using a dentist-approved antibacterial mouthwash. Your doctor may also advise you to have your teeth cleaned and examined every four months to reduce your risk of advanced periodontitis.
Neglecting your oral health can have a negative impact on your overall health. If you are concerned you may be suffering from gum disease, make an appointment today to have your teeth and gums examined by one of our trusted doctors. Please contact our office today online or give us a call at (703) 385-0303 to schedule your consultation.