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Long-term Damage Caused by Gum Disease

November 5, 2014

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , , — tntadmin @ 8:06 pm

An older woman smilingPatients in the greater Reston area can rely on Dr. Wayne Myles for their diverse dental care needs. For years, Dr. Myles has been offering comprehensive dentistry, using the latest in general and restorative care to improve the health of the teeth as well as advanced periodontal treatment to improve gum health.

Since many patients take the health of their gums for granted, we would like to take a basic look at the long-term health problems linked to gum disease.


Arestin® for Gum Disease: A Safe and Effective Treatment

May 5, 2014

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 8:57 pm

Reston Arestin® Treatment for Gum DiseaseAs one of the more wide-spread chronic dental diseases today, periodontal (gum) disease affects over half of the adult population in the United States, and remains the leading cause of permanent tooth loss. Despite its prevalence, gum disease is also one of the most-highly preventable and treatable dental conditions today, typically forming from little more than poor dental hygiene practices. Besides improving smiles through high-quality cosmetic dentistry services, Dr. Wayne Myles also provides advanced restorative and periodontal care to protect your smile from serious dental health issues. In an effort to combat the effects of progressive gum disease, your dedicated Reston dentist offers Arestin® antibiotic treatment to eradicate the bacteria responsible for gum disease.

A Close Look at Gum Disease

Though it has “disease” in its name, gum disease begins with a bacterial infection, known as gingivitis. At last count, scientists have identified over 600 different kinds of oral bacteria, and many more that have yet to be classified. When allowed to accumulate unchecked, these microbes are the driving force behind gum disease, as well as tooth decay, chronic bad breath, and other dental health issues.

When mouth germs gather, they form dental plaque to protect them from saliva and your mouth’s other natural defenses. Some germs prefer to linger along your gum line, where the tissue meets your teeth, and can release toxins that attack the connective tissues underneath your gums. As the tissue separates from your teeth, small pockets form that allows bacteria to sneak underneath your gums and onto the surfaces of your teeth’s roots. Left untreated, the bacterial infection will worsen as more bacteria infect your gums, and eventually, gum disease will fully develop.

Treatment with Arestin®

Periodontal treatment usually involves a deep periodontal cleaning, or scaling and root planing, that describes cleaning bacteria off of your teeth’s roots, and then smoothing the roots’ surfaces to discourage future buildup. With proper care and maintenance, and an improved home hygiene schedule, you can reverse gingivitis or control gum disease to prevent the destruction it can cause, like tooth loss. Dr. Myles may also recommend applying antibacterial Arestin® to directly target gum disease germs in your periodontal tissues. With the addition of Arestin®, your periodontal treatment has a higher chance of preserving your oral health in the long-term, though diligent hygiene at home is still an important necessity.

Is Gum Disease Preventable?

Once gingivitis becomes gum disease, the condition is no longer reversible. However, controlling the disease is similar to preventing it in the first place, and can prove just as effective at maintaining your good oral health.

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day to control the population of bacteria in your mouth
  • If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, rinse your mouth with water to neutralize the substances oral bacteria produce
  • Don’t skip your dental checkups and cleanings. Professional dental care will allow Dr. Myles to inspect your teeth and gums to ensure their good health, or to spot early signs of gingivitis and treat the condition before it blossoms.

Learn More about Effective Periodontal Treatment

To learn more about our periodontal services, including antibacterial Arestin®, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Myles.

Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

March 4, 2014

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 9:09 pm

Reston Gum Disease EffectsMost people probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that gum disease is a common cause of dental problems, but its risks are not just limited to the mouth. Gum disease has thus far been linked to multiple other diseases and complications, many of which pose a serious danger to your overall health. In the interest of keeping your teeth and body as healthy as possible, our Reston cosmetic dentistry office would like to extend the following information on the risks of gum disease. Hopefully, you can take the right precautions or, if needed, seek the right treatment to protect yourself from its potential effects.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums. Similar to how tooth decay is a bacterial infection, gum tissue can also suffer from the spread of bacteria and plaque. In its earlier stages, this inflammation is known as gingivitis. Although most cases of gingivitis are relatively mild, untreated disease can spread beneath the gums and into the roots of teeth. If the infection spreads to bone tissue in the jaw, the disease progresses into a more serious form known as periodontitis. While all periodontal problems are cause for concern, the longer they are allowed to cultivate and spread, the greater risk a person has of developing dental and health complications. 

How Does Gum Disease Affect Dental Health?

Any degree of gum disease can increase one’s chances of developing tooth decay. But as gingivitis and periodontitis progress, patients may experience a host of additional problems. At first, gums will become reddened and sensitive. When brushing or flossing, they may be prone to light bleeding. Gums will also slowly lose tissue, resulting in a receding gum line over time.

As gingivitis advances, gums will loosen and pull away from teeth. Pockets of infection will thus develop in the space, with the depth of pockets being a good indication of the severity of disease. At this point, patients must seek treatment if they do not wish their teeth or bone tissue to be infected.

If periodontitis ensues, teeth may shift position or become loose due to inflamed bone tissue. Their roots may also begin to decay, resulting in the need for root canal treatment. Ultimately, if treatment is not sought, tooth loss will occur.

How Does Gum Disease Affect Overall Health?

Patients with a history of gum disease are at an increased risk of multiple other diseases. While the reasons for this correlation are not entirely known, it is generally accepted that gum disease can have negative long-term effects on overall health.

  • Heart disease: The prevalence of gum disease is directly linked to the risk of cardiovascular problems. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, patients with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to also have heart disease. Similarly, periodontal problems seem to increase the likelihood of high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and stroke.
  • Respiratory disease: Evidence suggests that gingivitis and periodontitis raise the risk of certain respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • Arthritis: Studies show that the bacteria responsible for gingivitis also has the potential to speed up the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, as well increase its severity.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes and gum disease have a cyclically negative effect on one another. Because diabetes lowers the body’s immune system, such patients are less able to fight off gum disease. In turn, gum disease can negatively affect patients’ blood sugar levels. 
  • Cancer: According to Harvard University’s School of Public Health, gum disease results in a significantly increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men. The risk of lung, kidney, and blood cancers is also suspected to be raised by gum disease.

Taking these health risks into consideration, it’s clear why treating gum disease is a priority at our dental practice. If you suspect that your gums are currently suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, allow us to recommend the appropriate periodontal treatment.   

Protect Your Gums

Healthy gums equate to a healthy body. Be proactive in your hygiene, both at home and at your dentist. Schedule a cleaning or periodontal treatment to avoid potential complications in the future.

Bad Breath: Causes and Prevention

May 31, 2013

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , , — tntadmin @ 9:55 pm

Reston Bad Breath TreatmentPeople of all lifestyles and ages can experience halitosis, or bad breath. At Smiles By Myles in Reston, Dr. Wayne Myles knows bad breath treatment is about not only treating the symptoms, but about treating the causes and working to prevent it in the future.

Bad Breath Causes

At Smiles By Myles, a Reston cosmetic dentistry practice, patients can seek treatment for bad breath. To understand and prevent bad breath, patients should understand its causes, which include:

  • Tobacco use – Tobacco is naturally odorous and can create a long-lasting smell on a person’s breath as the tobacco smoke enters the lungs and is repeatedly exhaled through the mouth. Tobacco use also leads to mouth cancer, which can have an odorous smell.
  • Smelly foods – Some foods like garlic, coffee, and onions are naturally odorous, or can cause an odorous reaction during the digestion process.
  • Dry mouth – Dry mouth results in an inadequate amount of saliva in a person’s mouth. This means that food particles aren’t broken down and may stay in the mouth. These particles can become odorous themselves, and they lead to bacterial plaque, which creates a bad smell.
  • Infection or disease – Gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental afflictions can create an odorous smell, as they usually contain bacteria that are odorous. Additionally, some internal infections unrelated to the mouth can cause a smell that travels through the breath and creates halitosis. These may include liver conditions and cancer or other diseases that damage or kill tissue.
  • Poor oral health – Without a regimented dental hygiene plan, patients will often experience bad breath. It is important to maintain regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing that can stop plaque and food particles from accumulating and spoiling within the mouth.
  • Certain medications – Some medications can cause the body to create a smell or can cause dry mouth, which can cause bad breath.

Preventing Bad Breath

The ideal way to deal with bad breath is to prevent its occurrence in the first place. In examining its causes, some can be avoided in an effort to prevent bad breath. By stopping tobacco use and the ingestion of smelly foods and drinks, a patient greatly reduces his or her proclivity for bad breath.

To prevent dry mouth, patients can chew gum, drink water, and use a prescribed medication to moisturize the mouth with artificial saliva. Bad breath can originate on or in between the teeth, on the gums, the roof of the mouth, and the tongue. It is important that each of these parts of the mouth stays well-hydrated and clean.

For patients with more serious causes, including infection and disease, it is important that they consult with Dr. Myles at his Reston restorative dentistry practice so he can develop a dental plan that will treat decayed or infected teeth and help eliminate halitosis.

To prevent the start of bad breath, patients should maintain regular cleanings and checkups with a dental professional to ensure that the teeth and gums are in good health. If a dental exam does not identify the cause of bad breath, patients may want to visit a general physician or specialist to deal with the problem.

For more information on bad breath and its treatment, please contact Smiles by Myles today for a confidential consultation.

Root Planing and Scaling

April 22, 2013

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 10:20 pm

Reston Root Planing and ScalingGum 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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