Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is one of the major dental conditions that can befall a person. It is an infection of the gums that is caused by the bacteria in plaque that becomes caked on the teeth below the gum line. It causes a distinct dull redness in gums and is generally occasioned by bleeding when the teeth are brushed. It is a problem because it eventually leads to bone loss in the jaw which then loosens the teeth. Dr. Grande is a dentist in Herndon that can help you treat and prevent gum disease.
The three stages of gum disease
Here are some of the common signs of gum disease. They are:
Gingivitis: This is when plaque has built up at the gum line and has not been removed by daily flossing or brushing. The plaque then produces toxins which irritate the gums and causes some bleeding. At this stage, the disease is reversible because the bone and related tissue have not yet been affected.
Periodontitis: The next stage is when the supporting jaw structure and tissues that support your teeth are damaged beyond repair. The gums may form pockets below the gum line that further traps food and plaque. Proper cleaning by a dentist and better care at home can usually help prevent further damage.
Advanced Periodontitis: In the last stage, all the supporting structure that hold your teeth are destroyed and your teeth can then become loose or move. This can affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment can't save them, teeth may need to be removed.
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Here are some of the signs of gum disease
- Gums that are red, tender, and swollen and bleed during brushing or flossing
- Having bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Gums receding and/or are pulling away from teeth and forming pockets
- Any changes in your bite or teeth alignment, loose teeth
How to prevent it
There are very simple things you can do to minimize your exposure to gum disease.
- Twice a day brushing and flossing
- Using a mouthwash rinse with antimicrobial properties
- Keeping up your regular dental visits
How we treat it
First of all, we do a thorough check up and dental cleaning to remove all built up plaque and tartar on your teeth.
If you have an advanced stage, we do scaling and deep root planing which go below the gumline to remove accumulations of plaque and tartar, usually with a local anesthetic. We may also prescribe and apply an antibiotic treatment Arestin which releases medicine on the gums for up to 21 days.
If you are concerned about possible gum disease, make an appointment today with Grande Dental Care. Call (703) 471-7164 to book an appointment or use our online form.