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Since periodontal (gum) disease is a major threat to your oral health, seeing a specialist for treatment is one of the best investments a person can make in managing their condition.
Untreated gum disease can have lasting consequences on your oral health and overall wellness. This condition is powerful enough to destroy the gums and jawbones. Untreated periodontal disease is the primary cause behind adult tooth loss, and the infection present in the gums is capable of entering the blood stream. Periodontal disease can contribute to and exacerbate conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. It can also have a negative affect on the body’s immune system.
Patients with periodontal disease have treatment options. From deep prophylaxis such as scaling and root planing to surgical procedures, Dr. Bezik can help stop the progression of periodontal disease while improving oral health. Non-surgical treatments like scaling and root planing (SRP) remove badly diseased tissue along with irritants such as plaque and tartar above and below the gums. This thorough cleaning helps prevent new tartar buildup along the roots of teeth. Normally administered in increments, SRP also encourages the regeneration of new gingival tissue.
Surgical treatments can include a procedure called gum flap surgery or the grafting of soft tissue. When surgical treatments are needed, our practice takes great efforts to ensure that our patients have a comfortable and positive experience. The goal of all periodontal therapy is to improve gum health and remove irritants and diseased tissue.
While some periodontal therapy is available at general dentistry practices, most dentists prefer to refer their patients to a periodontist – especially for complex and advanced cases of gum disease. This is because periodontists possess specialized equipment and technology along with additional training and education to treat diseases and issues that affect soft oral tissues. Choosing a periodontist is wise for those in need of thorough, high quality care of a specialized nature.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) but if left untreated will cause tooth decay resulting in the possibility of tooth loss. Signs to look for in gingivitis are: redness, swollen and bleeding of the gums when brushing. Fortunately if detected early, gingivitis is reversible with professional cleaning and good oral care.
There are several forms of periodontal disease:
Here at Metro Dental Health, we want to make sure our patients maintain a healthy mouth by providing proper screenings and treatments. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today!
We are currently accepting new patients. In addition to our skilled periodontist, Dr. Bezik, our practice employs a general dentist on-site for routine dental concerns along with knowledgeable support personnel including dental hygienists and assistants.
Patients with emergencies are seen as soon as possible
Our dentists and staff are knowledgeable and frienldy
Two convenient locations in Fairfax, VA and Washington, DC
All dental services are provided in-house
Periodontal disease is an oral infection where the gingiva is inflamed, infected, and irritated. Without professional intervention, this condition can destroy a person’s oral health and overall wellbeing. Estimates show that periodontal disease affects roughly four out of five people within their lifetimes.
Since the gums become inflamed and infected, periodontal disease attacks the supportive bond between teeth and gums, and ultimately affects bone density. As the gums pull away from the teeth as a response to irritation, the roots of teeth become exposed to debris and bacteria. The roots of teeth, unlike the crowns, do not have as strong of a protective coating (like tooth enamel) and are therefore more susceptible to developing decay. Moreover, without the support of gum tissue, teeth will become loose and fall out.
In addition to affecting the health of teeth and gums, the infection associated with periodontal disease is systemic and can enter the blood stream. A wealth of research has linked periodontal disease to cardiovascular issues and diabetes.
Irritants that inflame gingival tissue cause receding gums. As a response to irritation, the gums pull away from teeth. The most common culprit behind gum recession is tartar accumulation. Tartar is the hardened form of plaque and it cannot be removed by oral hygiene practices at home. As tartar accumulates along the gums, it creates periodontal pockets. These pockets deepen as tartar builds up and it ultimately breaks down the supportive bond between the gums and teeth. Receding gums also expose the roots of teeth to oral bacteria.
Healthy gums should not bleed during normal oral function and oral hygiene. For instance, noticing blood on your dental floss or toothbrush is a sign that your gums are inflamed and irritated. If you notice that your gums are bleeding, continue brushing and flossing as normal and make an appointment for an oral checkup as soon as possible. At your checkup, your dentist or periodontist can determine if you have gum disease and its level severity.
A periodontist is a specialist who has advanced education and training to diagnose and treat issues that affect soft tissues in the oral cavity. If your dentist recommends that you see a periodontist, it is for good reason. Since a periodontist’s area of focus is on the gums and other soft tissues, he or she can provide in-depth, expert care that a general dentist cannot offer
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