Gum disease, or periodontitis, is one of the most prevalent, yet undiagnosed dental health problems. Periodontitis is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums. This buildup is what will eventually cause gum disease because it is composed of bacteria that eat away at your soft tissues.
Patients with periodontal disease are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. If left untreated, gum disease can also have irreversible effects on the appearance and health of your teeth and gums.
Washington, DC dentist Dr. Nishan Halim offers comprehensive periodontal disease treatment to help patients restore their oral health. Once gum disease starts to develop, professional intervention is necessary to slow its progress.
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, and is typically easy to treat but may require additional at-home care. Periodontitis is known as advanced gum disease and requires intensive treatment to address.
Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Halim will ensure that the progression of gingivitis or periodontitis is stopped. Call Dr. Halim for restorative dental care today at 202.318.4113. You may also request an appointment with Dr. Halim on our website.
The Stages of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is the only one that’s reversible. Plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line irritates the gum tissue. Gum disease is so common in adults because the symptoms of gingivitis are mild. Bleeding gums is the most prominent symptom that you might notice. If your gums are bleeding regularly when you brush your teeth, call our office. Regular dental visits, a diligent oral healthcare routine, and antibacterial rinses can reverse gingivitis.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, gum disease can no longer be reversed. At this stage, bacteria are more aggressive and the infection spreads to the bone. We help you manage gum disease with a technique called scaling and root planing. The dentist cleans bacteria and debris out of the gum pockets that have developed. He smoothes down the tooth roots so that the gum tissue reattaches to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
At this stage, bacteria are probing deeper and get into your bloodstream. Scaling and root planing is the technique used to take manage this stage as well.
Severe Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the disease completely evolves into disease-causing bacteria. Your gums are swollen and painful, they ooze pus, and you have severe bad breath. If left unmanaged, this stage leads to severe bone loss and tooth loss. The teeth become loose and shift, and it hurts to bite or chew your food. Full periodontal surgery is the only treatment option that can help gum disease at this stage.
Gum Disease FAQs
Here are answers to frequently asked questions that many patients may have about gum disease, its prevention, and treatment:
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Gingivitis, or bleeding gums, is the most common and early symptom of gum disease. Additional symptoms of periodontitis can include bad breath, swollen gums, tender gums, sensitive teeth, and receding gums. Dr. Halim will provide periodontal disease screening during routine oral health and wellness visits. This is done to monitor the progression of your gum health. If you have already noticed signs of developing gum disease, schedule an appointment in our DC office right away so we can get you the care you need.
How can gum disease be treated?
The level of periodontal therapy that a patient requires is dependent on their symptoms. Sometimes patients simply need a thorough dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the gums. However, they may require more extensive treatments including:
Antibacterial rinses: Dr. Halim may prescribe an anti-bacterial rinse used between office visits. These rinses reduce the level of bacteria present in the mouth and benefit patients who have persistent bleeding gums, or gingivitis.
Scaling and root planing: Scaling and root planing are intensive cleaning treatments used in tandem. Scaling removes built-up plaque from the gum line, tooth roots, and deep pockets of the gums. Root planing smooths down tooth roots to help gums reattach to the teeth.
Gum surgery: In cases of advanced gum disease or periodontitis, Dr. Halim may refer you to a local periodontist for treatment.
How can I prevent gum disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease from developing past its early stages is to schedule routine dental visits in our Washington, DC dental office. We recommend that our patients schedule these appointments once every six months. During routine dental appointments, one of our dental hygienists will professionally clean your teeth and gums of all plaque and tartar buildup.