Woman with jaw pain due to gum disease

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that often goes unnoticed until it has caused extensive damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone.  

The dentists at Fairfax Family Dental can identify and treat gum disease early, as well as take steps to repair late-stage damage. 

Learn how early gingivitis treatment by the highly trained dentists at our Fairfax, VA, practice can stop gum disease in its tracks. 

Are You On the Path to Gum Disease? From Plaque to Tartar to Gum Disease

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a buildup of bacteria and inflammation of the gums. Unfortunately, it is a silent disease and most people don't realize they have it until after significant damage has already occurred. It takes a trained dentist to identify gum disease in its early stage, called gingivitis, and stop it before it advances to periodontitis, which can damage the gum tissue and lead to tooth loss. Here is how gum disease develops:


Gingivitis starts as the pale yellow plaque that collects on teeth. Fortunately, with regular oral hygiene, you can remove plaque at home with simple brushing and flossing. However, if you skip a day or don't clean each tooth carefully, plaque quickly builds up and gingivitis can develop.



If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar, where bacteria thrives and attacks the protective enamel on your teeth. The more plaque that forms, the more tartar develops. Unfortunately, daily oral hygiene won't help at this stage. You need professional help to remove tartar.


Gum Disease

If the plaque and tartar are not removed, it eventually causes inflammation around the teeth. Once the bacteria collect below the gum line, it can progress to attacking the bone and ligaments surrounding the teeth and introducing an advanced phase of gum disease called periodontitis.

Is This an Emergency?

While gum disease typically progresses slowly, if you don't take action, you may need to seek emergency dental care. Common situations that could be caused by gum disease include root canal infections, a loose tooth, a dental abscess, or a swollen jaw. If you have a dental emergency, Fairfax Family Dental Care offers round-the-clock emergency care.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Woman's inflamed gums due to gum disease

The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis, and it occurs when plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, causing inflammation in the gums. If it goes untreated, you will develop periodontitis, which can take a serious toll on your teeth and gums. Symptoms of each stage include:  


  • Swollen gums
  • Discolored gums
  • Tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum recession


  • Pain while chewing
  • Advanced gum recession
  • Severe bad breath
  • A foul taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth 
  • Tooth loss

Do You Suspect Gum Disease? Request a Consultation

If you have bleeding gums or other symptoms and suspect you have periodontal disease, we recommend requesting a consultation with one of our dentists at Fairfax Family Dental Care. While regular brushing can remove plaque and prevent gum disease, it takes professional techniques to remove tartar, treat advanced gum disease, and restore your oral health. The earlier you seek treatment, the more likely the effects of gum disease can be reversed.

Drs. Charles KirkseyMilan Simanek, and Touraj Kamali at our Fairfax dental office have advanced training in specialized areas of dentistry. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to treat even complex dental cases all under one roof. By using advanced technology, we are able to identify oral health problems before they escalate.

In addition to scaling and root planing to help eradicate gum disease, our dentists also have advanced restorative dentistry and periodontal skills to rebuild your smile if gum disease has caused serious damage to the teeth or gums. Protecting your smile by reaching out to us today.

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Fairfax Family Dental Care has a spacious and inviting office.

Call Us: (703) 385-0303

Outstanding Service and Stellar Patient Outcomes "I can smile and laugh freely."


Catherine L Mommsen

Fairfax, VA


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I’ve had severe dental and periodontal issues my entire adult life and have ample experience with providers to provide a fair opinion. Dr. Kamali and Cindy keep me coming back here. Both are exceptional professionals, mindful and simply the best at what they do; Dr. Kamali is conservative in treatment, straightforward with information and always has sound solutions. I trusted him with a full mouth restoration and have never been as happy with an outcome as I am this one. I can smile and laugh freely.

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Jason Nunez

Fairfax, VA


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As someone new to the area, I've found that the dentist location at Fairfax Family Dental Care has been a fantastic fit for me and my dental needs. The staff's efficiency and ease of assistance have made my visits smooth and convenient. The kindness and careful approach of the staff, particularly the ladies, in handling my oral care have been truly impressive. I have nothing but positive experiences with Fairfax Family Dental Care and am grateful for their exceptional service.

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How We Treat Gum Disease

The type of treatment we prescribe will depend on the severity of the condition. Treating the early stages of gum disease can improve your oral health almost immediately. It can also reverse the effects of gum disease and make it easier to manage.


Mild cases of periodontal disease can typically be corrected with routine checkups with a dentist. These will need to be paired with a good at-home oral care routine, including daily flossing and twice-daily brushing.


For mild to moderate cases of gingivitis, your periodontal care may require a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. This procedure removes plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth, reduces periodontal pockets, and helps the gums reattach to the teeth. In addition to scaling and root planing, our dentists may recommend the use of antiseptic rinses and prescribe antibiotics to get the inflammation under control.


Advanced periodontitis may require surgical intervention like gum grafts and bone grafts or restorative procedures like dental implants to completely restore your oral health and function.

a man experiencing tooth pain due to gum disease

We've Kept Patients Happy for Decades "I could not be happier with their service."


Gayle Jacques

Fairfax, VA


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My husband’s family has been going here for 35+ years and our kids have only known Fairfax Family Dental Care. They take really good care of their patients and very knowledgeable.

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Frank Wilson

Fairfax, VA


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Fairfax Family Dental Care has taken excellent care of me for nearly 20 years and I could not be happier with their service. They changed my life with some complicated issues early on and continue the awesomeness year after year. Dr. Kamali and Cindy are like family!

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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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