Periodontal disease can range from mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a serious disease that can result in soft tissue and bone loss. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.
One of the main causes of gum disease is improper oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are recommended to maintain optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar.
Another contributing factor of periodontal disease is infrequent professional dental care. During a professional exam and cleaning, our team can remove any built up plaque and tartar to assist in the prevention of the disease.
In early stages of periodontitis,, the gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include:
- chronic halitosis (bad breath)
- sensitive teeth,
- difficulty or pain with chewing.
At this point, professional periodontal treatment may be needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing. In later stages of the disease, symptoms subside, making a self-diagnosis difficult.
When gingivitis is not treated in a timely way, it can progress and may ultimately lead to tooth loss. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional care and can lead to rapid deterioration in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues can be destroyed by periodontitis.
Some of the most common factors that contribute to the development of periodontal disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Hormonal changes in women
Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302