Gum disease or “periodontal disease” is an infection of the gums due to an inflammatory response caused by the bacteria in plaque, originating from the lack of routine care as well as genetics. The disease leads to an erosion of the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth. These bacteria lead to an infection that causes bleeding and pain as well as the discoloration of the gums. Scientific research has concluded that there is a biodirectional link between gum disease and more than 50 systemic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Initially, the periodontal disease is mild and can be controlled with professional treatment. As it advances, symptoms will worsen and become more challenging to suppress. Eventually, the gum disease can permanently damage the supporting bone next to the teeth. Without treatment, it can cause both tooth loss as well as affect overall systemic health.
If you think you have gum disease or would like to be screened for it, contact our team at VanSmileDesign for a consultation today. Dr. Van and our team would love to help explore your treatment options and improve your oral health.
The severity of symptoms primarily depends on how advanced the gum disease is. The first stage is known as gingivitis and can be reversible. Common symptoms of gingivitis include gum inflammation and tenderness, bleeding, and halitosis (bad breath).
As the disease worsens, it is diagnosed as periodontitis as visible signs of bone loss become apparent. It can only be suppressed with professional treatment before leading to irreversible damage. Symptoms of periodontitis may include permanent gum recession, bleeding and pain. Large spaces next to teeth may develop while the supportive bone resorbs, continuing to trap food and bacteria.
The final stages lead to advanced periodontitis, where there may be increased pain, tooth mobility, abscesses and changes in teeth alignment. As the disease continues to progress, it will impact both aesthetics and function.
An appointment with our McLean dentist includes a comprehensive oral exam to determine the presence of gum disease and the best treatment plan. The steps recommended are customized for every individual.
The first step in combating periodontal disease for many patients includes a periodontal cleaning and debridement. Dr. Van and our professional team of hygienists are wonderful advocates as they can guide patients on recommended home-care regimens as well as professional in-office treatment.
Patients begin to see an improvement in symptoms and eventually a remission of the gum disease as they schedule their professional periodontal maintenance visits at 3-month intervals. The timely maintenance protocols are implemented based on science demonstrating the periodontal bacteria’s ability to repopulate and reinvade the mouth at 12 weeks after its debridement.
Visit VanSmileDesign to get a comprehensive assessment from Dr. Van and our professional team. With 30 years of experience in treating periodontal disease, we are committed to providing patients with the very best care!
As a part of our practice's protocol for a routine comprehensive exam, our experienced team of hygienists will take the time to gather the necessary data to complete a periodontal assessment. This detailed exam allows Dr. Van and our team to plan for effective therapy that will include bacterial debridement and elimination. Using a scientific-based approach, our team has been successful in treating patients and transitioning them towards an improved, healthier foundation for their teeth.
During your routine visits, our dental hygienists will take millimeter measurements of your gums and record the data to help determine areas of healthy vs. diseased gums. Often, there may even be no symptoms felt by patients until the disease has had an advanced progression. Today, all healthcare trends are involving a preventative approach before there is an uphill challenge!