Gum disease is often defined as a progressive infection of the gum tissue. Gum disease develops from the bacteria in plaque that make their way into the gum tissue. If gum disease is left untreated, it can compromise the health, function, and appearance of the bone structure and teeth.
Addressing gum disease in the earliest stages can help prevent further oral health concerns. It is important for patients to take the proper steps to improve their oral health and reduce their risk of developing gum disease.
Risk Factors Associated With Gum Disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Certain types of medications
- Poor nutrition and obesity
Our team at DC Precision Dentistry can work with you to determine if you can lower your risk and find ways to improve your oral health. Dr. Justin Deckard offers a full range of comprehensive, personalized solutions to treat gum disease at various stages. Dr. Deckard can work with patients to address any damage caused by gum disease, create a preventive care plan, and restore their oral health.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. At this stage, patients may not even be aware they suffer from gum disease because the symptoms may be mild. Signs of gingivitis include sore, red, swollen, or bleeding gums. However, there may no obvious signs at all. This is why regular dental appointments are very important. Dr. Deckard will be able to diagnose you and provide treatment to keep it from progressing.
Gum Disease Prevention
Plaque is a sticky substance that naturally forms on the teeth and gums. If not removed, it will build and develop into tartar. You can keep plaque at bay with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
Bacteria is present in plaque and tartar. When it sits on teeth, especially at the gum line, that buildup can cause gum disease. Patients with gum disease may experience symptoms like bleeding gums, receding gum line, shifting teeth, halitosis, bone loss, and tooth loss.
Practicing preventive dental care can help reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Patients should practice a healthy oral hygiene routine on a daily basis, schedule routine dental care visits, and eat a well-balanced diet.
Periodontal Therapy in Washington, DC
Dr. Deckard offers a full range of periodontal therapy solutions in our Washington, DC dental office. After a thorough examination and consultation, Dr. Deckard can develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.
The type of treatment a patient receives is dependent on the extent of damage, stage of gum disease, and overall oral health.
Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planning is an extensive deep cleaning. During this intense treatment, your dentist will gently remove tartar, plaque, and bacterial from above and below the gum line. Depending on the patient, Dr. Deckard may suggest multiple rounds of scaling and root planing treatment.
We use antibacterial rinses to treat early-stage gingivitis. Your dentist will introduce it as part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
With severe periodontitis, the health and function of the gum tissue and bone structure are at serious risk. To restore oral function, you may need surgery.
Dr. Deckard may recommend dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge to restore missing teeth. Advanced stage gum disease remains one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. Dr. Deckard can work with patients to find the most suitable tooth replacement option.
Gum Disease Treatment FAQs
Are periodontal treatments painful?
No. You will be under local anesthesia so that you won’t feel pain during your treatment. Most treatments for gum disease are non-invasive, meaning that you will not need gum surgery. Treatment for bleeding gums can include a deep gum cleaning, comparable to a massage for your gums.
Can periodontal disease go away on its own?
No. Periodontitis does not go away without intervention from a dentist. Gingivitis has the potential to go away at home with excellent oral hygiene, but you may need help from a dentist if have advanced stages of gum disease.
Can children develop gum disease?
Yes. No one is completely immune to gum disease. Children with poor oral hygiene or high rates of tooth decay are much more susceptible to developing gum disease. Patients who develop gum disease in their youth are more prone to oral and systemic diseases later in life. Prevent the spread of gum disease in your child by routinely visiting the dentist.
Can I get braces with gum disease?
Orthodontists and dentists will not recommend braces if you have gum disease. Before you start orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to treat and manage gum disease to prevent further damage to the gums, bones, and teeth. Braces can make it challenging to clean the teeth and gums properly. Consult with your dentist or periodontist to address gum disease and ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment.
Can flossing reverse gum disease?
Flossing is essential to preventing and treating gum disease by removing plaque and food particles from areas that brushing alone cannot reach. Flossing can help to prevent gum disease from developing or progressing. However, if your gum disease progresses to a more severe stage, such as periodontitis, professional treatment may be necessary to address the issue. Your dentist or periodontist can evaluate your oral health and recommend a course of treatment that is appropriate for you.
What happens if I don’t treat gum disease?
If you do not treat gum disease, it can lead to serious oral health problems. Gum disease can progress to periodontitis, which involves the destruction of bone and tissues that support the teeth. As the disease progresses, it can cause the gums to recede and teeth to become loose. You can also experience chronic bad breath and bleeding gums if you don’t treat gum disease. Moreover, the bacteria that cause gum disease can also spread to other parts of the body and increase the risk of developing other health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, it’s important to address gum disease to prevent further complications.