Affecting millions of Americans, periodontal (gum) disease is an oral infection that causes damage to the gums and bone that support and hold your teeth in place. Common symptoms of periodontal disease include gums that bleed, red or tender gums, bad breath, and a receding gumline. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Treating periodontal disease and preventing its progression early on can help minimize the need for further treatment and improve your oral and general health.
Periodontal disease is characterized by three stages. The first stage, gingivitis, results when plaque-bacteria accumulates and causes inflammation of the gums. When caught in this stage, periodontal disease is completely reversible and does not result in damage to the underlying bone. Periodontitis, the second stage, results when harmful bacteria emit toxins beneath the gums that cause the body to begin breaking down supporting bone. Treating periodontal disease at this point can help minimize damage and preserve your oral health. If left to progress, periodontitis leads to advanced periodontitis, in which extensive bone deterioration may result in the loss of teeth.
At Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics, we offer treatment for all phases of gum disease. Our skilled periodontist performs surgical and non-surgical procedures for periodontal disease, including scaling and root planing and surgical treatments. If you have noticed bleeding, swelling, tooth mobility, gum recession, or other changes in your oral health, gum disease may be to blame. Contact our multi-specialty Gainesville, VA practice today to schedule your gum disease screening with our talented periodontist.
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Many people have gum disease yet are not aware of its presence. For this reason, we recommend that you maintain regular dental exams at Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics so that our team may routinely screen for the condition and identify and treat periodontal disease before it has a chance to significantly affect your oral health and wellness. Early symptoms of gingivitis may include bleeding when brushing or flossing, bad breath, and red, puffy, or tender gums. As the condition progresses to the periodontitis stage, you may notice the same symptoms in addition to gum recession. Advanced periodontitis is often characterized by the presence of pus, tooth sensitivity, and tooth mobility. However, any signs or symptoms of gum disease should be evaluated promptly by our periodontist to keep the disease from progressing and preserve your oral and general health.
What to Expect
Our periodontal specialist will determine the best course of gum disease treatment based on your unique condition. To diagnose periodontal disease, our team takes low-radiation dental x-rays and measures the spaces (periodontal pockets) between your teeth and gums. If bone loss has occurred and your periodontal pocket depths are over 3mm deep, our periodontist may diagnose you with periodontitis and or advanced periodontitis and recommend either scaling and root planing (SRP) treatment or a surgical approach in advanced cases. We may need to complete your gum disease treatment in one or more procedures, depending on the extent of your condition. If periodontal disease has caused gum recession in your mouth, gum grafting may be needed at a future date (after you have been treated for gum disease) to restore a healthy gumline.
Though there is no cure for gum disease, it can be treated and managed to preserve the future of your smile and oral health. The recovery phase following your gum disease treatment will vary depending on the procedure you received. Once your treatment is complete, it is very important to keep regular cleaning and check up appointments at Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics to maintain ongoing periodontal health.
Our periodontist may recommend a periodontal maintenance program that allows us to better manage your gum health. These visits take place every 3 – 4 months and include thorough cleanings and periodontal exams and replace biannual routine cleanings. When you have been diagnosed and treated for gum disease, a routine prophylaxis cleaning every six months is not enough to maintain your periodontal health. Our team will also provide suggestions on how to best keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits with proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques.
Coverage amounts for periodontal disease procedures may vary among insurance companies and individual plans. Our business team will contact your insurance provider to review coverage amounts before we begin your treatment. If you do not have insurance or incur out-of-pocket expenses, we will be happy to work with you and discuss our convenient payment options. We want you to get the care you need to enjoy long-term oral health and accept flexible patient-financing plans through CareCredit®.
Though a common condition, gum disease can cause extensive damage to your smile and both oral and general health when it is left untreated. Proper care with our experienced and caring periodontal specialist can help arrest the disease process in your mouth and help you enjoy better oral health for years to come. If you have noticed bleeding, bad breath, or other changes in your mouth, contact Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics in Gainesville, VA today to schedule your gum disease screening with our skilled team.