April 22, 2013
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection affecting the bones and tissues that surround and support the teeth. At the practice of Reston cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles, many patients are unaware that they are suffering from gum disease. While gum disease is an extremely common condition affecting many patients, it has the potential to cause severe damage to the gums and teeth. One of the most dangerous aspects of gum disease is that it is common for the condition to go unnoticed until it has progressed to its most damaging stage. In the early stages of gum disease, many patients experience little to no pain. Because of this, there is a real potential for the condition to progress past its early stage and inflict severe damage to the gums and teeth. If the condition is left untreated, irreversible damage to the gums and teeth is likely to occur, which can lead to the loss of one or more teeth. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for this dangerous condition.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease results from the build-up of plaque on the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque forms when acid found within the mouth combines with mucus, saliva, and food particles. When plaque is not promptly removed from the surfaces of the teeth, tartar will begin to develop. While plaque can easily be removed from the teeth, tartar is much harder than plaque and can only be removed through professional dental treatment. The presence of plaque or tartar can cause the gums to become inflamed. The bacteria found within both plaque and tartar cause the gums to become infected, resulting in gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, it is vital to the overall health and integrity of your teeth and gums that you schedule a dental examination. Damage that occurs during the most advanced stage of gum disease cannot be reversed. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Inflamed gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Gums that appear shiny
- Gums that appear bright red or purple
- Gums that bleed during teeth brushing
- Receding gums
- Gums that bleed easily (even when not touched)
- Bad breath
- Teeth that are loose
- Teeth that shift in the mouth
Root Planing and Scaling
For patients affected by gum disease in Reston, root planing and scaling are among the most effective ways to treat and prevent the condition from advancing to a more severe stage. To ensure the comfort of our patients in Reston, gum disease treatment may be performed while utilizing sedation dentistry. Patients who experience anxiety at the thought of undergoing dental treatment may benefit from sedation dentistry.
During the root planing and scaling procedures, a local anesthetic may be used to numb the gums and the roots of the teeth. During the scaling portion of the procedure, plaque and tartar are removed from below and above the gum line. During the root planing portion of the procedure, any rough spots remaining on the roots of the teeth are smoothed away to create an area free of bacteria for the gums to reattach to. An antibiotic may be prescribed to prevent infection and to promote healing after root planing and scaling.
Contact Smiles by Myles
To learn more about gum disease treatments including root planing and scaling, please contact Smiles by Myles today.
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