If your gums are inflamed and swollen, or they bleed when you brush or floss, you may have the beginning stages of periodontal disease. At Vital Dental Care, the providers offer diagnosis and intensive care to prevent the progression of this gum disease so you can protect your oral health. If your gums need attention, call the office in Manassas, Virginia, or click the online scheduler to make an appointment.
Periodontal disease is another name for gum disease, which happens when your gums and other soft structures around your teeth become infected by bacteria. Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis, an infection of the gums. But as it progresses, your cementum that covers the tooth roots, the periodontal ligaments, and the alveolar bone all become involved.
Most cases of periodontal disease are caused by poor oral hygiene habits. If you allow plaque to build up on your teeth, this sticky film can harden into tartar. As the gums become inflamed, they pull away from the tooth and form a pocket between the tooth and the gum. Bacterial growth accelerates in these pockets, encouraging more plaque buildup and deepening the infection.
Smoking puts you at a greater risk of developing periodontal disease as does diabetes, hormone changes in women, and certain illnesses.
The first signs that you might be developing periodontal disease are bleeding and tender gums. Other symptoms include:
The providers at Vital Dental Care aim to prevent the infection from spreading so your teeth stay intact and your oral health improves. The exact treatment depends on the severity of your disease and how extensively it has spread.
For relatively moderate gum disease, they may recommend scaling and root planing. During this procedure, they scrape and remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth, using local anesthesia, if needed.
Removing this buildup allows your gums to heal and reattach to the clean surfaces of your teeth. It’s up to you to maintain good hygiene habits at home following successful root planing and scaling.
More severe gum disease may require flap surgery, in which the dentist pulls back the gum tissue and removes the infected areas of tissue. You may also require gum grafts, in which gum tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and reattached to cover exposed roots on infected teeth. This helps prevent decay and diminishes sensitivity due to exposure.
If you have swollen or bleeding gums, have the dentists at Vital Dental Care examine and treat them to prevent progression into full periodontal disease. Call Vital Dental Care or book your appointment online.