Healthier gums equal beautiful smiles. Left untreated, inflamed periodontal tissue can lead to more harmful and serious systemic health problems.
Periodontal ‘gum’ disease affects almost 75% of the adult population at some point in their lives. Known as a “silent disease,” gum disease can go unnoticed and untreated in the absence of routine dental care. It remains a leading cause of tooth loss today.
Dr. Mojgan Mazhari—our experienced dentist in Alexandria—emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy gums, and a periodontal screening is performed at every preventive care visit in our office. We offer personalized advice for at-home oral hygiene to address existing gum disease, and we take the time to discuss lifestyle habits that can increase your risk of developing gum disease, including:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Poor nutrition
- Age and genetics
- Dry mouth, often caused by certain medications or conditions
Periodontal Therapy & Treatment for Gum Disease in Alexandria
Before recommending treatment to address your periodontal disease and restore gum health, Dr. Mazhari will evaluate all aspects of your oral health. As gum disease progresses, it deepens the pockets between the teeth and the gums, pulling the gum tissue away from the teeth and exposing sensitive root structure. This can lead to pain, sensitivity, and loose teeth.
For gingivitis, an intense cleaning process known scaling and root planing can be employed to remove plaque and tartar along the gum line. Scaling and root planing is often sufficient to remove early infection and enable healing to occur. More advanced cases of gum disease may require more invasive treatment to restore healthy gums. If you are at-risk for developing gum disease or have persistent infection, Dr. Mazhari may recommend specific oral hygiene products such as anti-bacterial rinses to be used at home as part of your daily routine.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are two key stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms. Typically, patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages, when damage to the gums affects the teeth or the gums become significantly irritated.
Gingivitis: early stage gum disease, gingivitis is typically easy to treat but may require additional at-home care to prevent it from returning. Patients with recurring gingivitis may benefit from more frequent dental cleanings in our dentist office.
Periodontitis: advanced gum disease, periodontitis can cause permanent damage to gum tissue and weaken the teeth. This often requires intensive treatment to address damage and restore oral health.
Recent scientific studies have consistently shown the relationship between periodontal disease and an increased risk for developing or being more severely affected by cardiovascular and systemic diseases. When caught early, conservative treatment can be effective and Dr. Mazhari can help quickly restore your oral health.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Recognizing the early signs of periodontal disease and infection is important. Treating gum disease early is often the key to successful treatment and avoiding permanent damage to the teeth and/or gums.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Sensitive, irritated gums
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of the bite or dentures
If you notice any of these symptoms or are concerned that you may be at risk for gum disease, routine preventive dental care will play an important role in maintaining gum health and spotting signs of disease early.