Periodontal Treatment in Fairfax VA

Just as your house needs a solid foundation, so do your teeth. Your gums are the primary support or foundation for your teeth, and if they're not healthy, your teeth are at risk. 

Have you noticed a change in your gums recently? Do they look red, swollen, and tender or bleed when you brush your teeth or eat hard or crunchy foods? You may dismiss these signs as being normal and nothing to worry about. The truth is, there's a good chance you're seeing symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum Disease – A Serious Oral Health Risk

Periodontal disease affects millions of people, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that at least half of American adults over the age of 30 have it. It is a chronic bacterial inflammation that attacks your gum tissue and the bone that supports your teeth. If this condition is not treated promptly, gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. Gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.

We emphasize the importance of regular cleanings and exams at our Fairfax, VA dental office because gum disease can do a lot of damage to your teeth and gums before you even know that it's present. We can help you detect this condition in its earliest stages, which gives you the best opportunity to treat it in the least invasive manner possible.

The Surprising Truth About Gum Disease

Gum disease is a problem that doesn't just affect the health of your teeth and gums. Your oral health has a definite connection to your overall health, and periodontal disease can lead to non-dental related problems like cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes, dementia, and complications during pregnancy.

The reason that all of these health concerns are related is that the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel through your bloodstream to other areas of your body, where it adds to the inflammation that is causing other health issues. The same happens in reverse. So, as an example, patients who have gum disease may be more likely to have or develop diabetes and vice versa.

Science has shown us that taking good care of your dental health plays an integral role in achieving optimal overall wellness. If you have more questions about how your dental health and overall health are related, Dr. Cerina Fairfax and her team would love to talk with you. Call us at (703) 273-1033 for more information.

How We Treat Gum Disease

To successfully manage gum disease, it is essential first to understand your condition and how it happens.

Throughout the day, a sticky film of bacteria called plaque develops on your teeth. Typically, brushing, flossing, and routine dental visits are enough to get rid of bacteria. But when plaque builds up between your teeth and under the gums, pockets open up, leaving a space for bacteria to grow and continue damaging your oral health. Without treatment, you will notice your teeth start to loosen and become more mobile. At this stage, tooth loss becomes a real possibility. 

During your cleaning at our Fairfax dental office, our highly trained and skilled hygienists look for signs of gum disease and measure the depth of the periodontal pockets. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease where you might have red or swollen gums, or notice bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning with your hygienist combined with improvements to your home care routine may be able to alleviate and sometimes even reverse gingivitis. 

If gum disease has advanced to the severe stage (periodontitis), we will likely recommend a deep cleaning procedure using comfortable ultrasonic scalers. Also known as a periodontal deep cleaning, the process is designed to gently remove bacteria, plaque, and calculus deposits to aid in healing. Dr. Fairfax may also recommend antibiotic therapy to be included in your deep cleaning to help combat your dental infection. The most severe cases of gum disease will require surgery with a specialist.

Your Best Defense Against Gum Disease

You can prevent gum disease from happening in the first place by taking a few proactive measures. First, have an excellent home care routine that includes brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing them once. Ensure that you understand proper brushing techniques so that you don't risk damage to delicate gum tissue with vigorous brushing, and so you can be positive that you're removing as much plaque from your teeth as possible. If you haven't already, talk with Dr. Fairfax about the benefits of switching to an electric toothbrush that can do the heavy lifting of toothbrushing for you.

Next, make sure that you visit your dentist in Fairfax at least twice per year, and a good rule of thumb is every six months. These visits are so important because it is hard to diagnose gum disease on your own, and Dr. Faifax and her team will screen you for it during every dental examination. The earlier you can detect gum disease and treat it, the less invasive the procedures have to be to manage it successfully, and in some cases, even reverse it.

Since this is a disease that you can easily prevent, you are your own best advocate. Contact your dentist right away if you start noticing changes in your dental health or the health of your gums.

Protect Your Smile With Our Dental Discount Plan

Gum disease is a severe problem, but it is highly preventable with proper oral hygiene and routine dental care. One of the reasons that gum disease is so prevalent is because it may be present and not show any symptoms. This is why regular professional cleanings and exams are essential. Most dental insurance covers the cost of these important services, which means that there is no out-of-pocket expense for your dental cleanings and checkups. Check with your provider and take advantage of your insurance benefits so you can protect your dental health.

For patients who don't have dental insurance, we're also pleased to offer the opportunity to join our annual in-house dental discount plan. Simply pay an annual fee, and for a period of 12 months, you'll be entitled to free cleanings, exams, fluoride treatments, and even additional discounts on certain restorative services. Please call our Fairfax, VA dental office today at (703) 273-1033 for more information.

Please Call to Arrange Your Next Dental Cleaning

No matter what the condition of your oral health is, we're here to help. We've seen all sorts of problems over the years, and we're not here to judge. We are just happy that you're taking the crucial steps to improve the health of your smile. 

If you think you're experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, please give us a call. We'll make an appointment for your next dental cleaning and exam in Fairfax, VA, so we can get to know you and help you achieve your goals for a healthy smile.

We look forward to welcoming you to our dental family!