April 15, 2016
What’s the biggest reason for tooth loss among American adults? Is it injury? Tooth decay? In fact, gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in the the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta says that 50 percent of adults over 30 in the United States have some form of gum disease. What are the causes, symptoms and treatments for gum disease in DC and across the country?
Reasons for and symptoms of gum disease
Dr. Shahrokh Soltani of My Face My Smile dental spa in Washington, DC treats gum disease–from its mildest form, gingivitis, to its more serious form, periodontitis. He tells his patients that gum disease originates in the sticky biofilm dentists called plaque.
When not removed by brushing and flossing at home, plaque accumulates between teeth and under the gum, hardening into tartar. Biofilm also contains bacteria which create cavities and attack gum tissue, infecting it and causing it to bleed and recede. When left unchecked, gum disease destroys soft tissue and deteriorates underlying bone. Teeth loosen and eventually, are lost.
Some patients with gum disease feel no symptoms whatsoever. Others notice many uncomfortable signs. Dr. Soltani and his staff detect gum disease on oral examination which includes periodontal probing, a painless measurement of gum pocket depth. When spaces between gums and teeth measure more than 3 mm, gum disease is confirmed.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, bleeding gums
- Pus at the gum line
- Gum discoloration
- Frequent bad breath
- Changes in how teeth bite together or are spaced
- Loose teeth
In addition, many research studies show links between gum disease and systemic health problems such as heart disease, arthritis, dementia, and diabetes. So, keeping the mouth healthy keeps the rest of the body healthy, too.
Gum disease treatment in Washington, DC
Fortunately, expert dentists such as Dr. Soltani know how to stop periodontal disease and bring gums back to full vibrancy. For less severe gingivitis, manual tooth scaling scrapes away tartar, allowing gums to heal. For more severe periodontitis, root planing, in addition to tooth scaling, debrides root surfaces and smoothes them so gum tissue reattaches.
Anti-microbial medication, instilled into gum pockets, heals infection. Dr. Soltani also uses soft tissue lasers to remove infected tissue. Fast and with minimal bleeding and discomfort, laser DC gum disease treatment requires no sutures and produces great results.
Of course, the best gum disease treatment is prophylactic care. That means twice daily brushing and flossing at home to keep ahead of plaque and tartar. Also, patients should come to My Face My Smile every 6 months for routine oral exams and hygienic cleanings to prevent serious dental and gingival problems.
Come to My Face My Smile
Don’t delay. Your teeth and gums are too important. Contact the office to schedule your exam and cleaning, and see how beautiful and healthy your smile can be.
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