Periodontists: What Do They Do? | Alexandria VA Best Periodontist

A periodontist may be recommended to you by your dentist if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease). Specialists in this field have received additional training in order to assist patients with problems such as gum recession and tooth loss. Our periodontist office can provide you with the treatment you need in a supportive, reassuring environment. Find out how periodontal care can help you maintain a healthy smile.

What are the reasons I might need a periodontist?

Healthy teeth are maintained by maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments. However, extra care may be needed if you have symptoms of gum disease, such as:

  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Dark or bleeding gums
  • Breath that is persistently bad

Untreated gum disease can worsen and lead to more serious problems.

Periodontal Care: What Is It?

Your specific treatment will depend on the severity of your condition and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Among the different services are:

  • Periodontal Maintenance: When it comes to gum disease, prevention is the best policy. The periodontists at our office can develop an individualized care plan that includes regular oral examinations and dental cleanings to help patients preserve and maintain their teeth.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: The first step in treating gum disease is scaling and root planing, a noninvasive procedure that may be able to reverse your condition in one visit. During this two-step procedure, plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line and the tooth root is smoothed out to allow the gums to reattach.
  • Extractions and Dental Implants: When it is not possible to save a tooth, our periodontists can extract it and place a dental implant. Furthermore, they can provide dental implants that look and function like real teeth following the loss of a tooth. A titanium post is surgically implanted into the jawbone, and then a crown is placed on top of it.
  • Bone Grafting, Bone Regeneration, and Ridge Preservation: A dental implant may not be able to be supported by the jawbone without bone grafting, bone regeneration, and ridge preservation. These cases – and others – may require specialized services in order to rebuild the bone. Unlike bone grafting, bone regeneration and ridge preservation involve encouraging the body to produce bone tissue naturally.
  • Gum Grafting & Crown Lengthening: Gum recession can lead to exposed tooth roots, which can require gum grafting. In gum grafting, the missing tissue is replaced by a soft tissue graft. When there is too much gum tissue covering the teeth, crown lengthening may be performed to remove the excess tissue.

Our periodontist office can assist you if you suspect that you have periodontal disease. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302

Preventing Gum Infections | Periodontist in Alexandria VA

Gum disease can be a major problem, but if detected early enough, it can be reversed. Once gum disease has progressed, bone and soft tissue are damaged by infections. Untreated gingivitis can easily progress to periodontitis if left untreated. As a result, you may lose your teeth and suffer serious health problems. The good news is that knowledge is power, and you can take control of your oral health by learning about the different types of gum disease.

Our goal in this post is to explain how gum disease progresses and what you can do to maintain better oral health.

Gums that are healthy are light pink and firm. If your gums are red, bleed easily, or swell, you may have gingivitis. Poor oral hygiene is usually responsible for this condition. With the right steps, it is very possible to reverse the situation at this point.

Inflammation of the gums is a hallmark of periodontitis, a form of advanced gum disease. It is at this point that the infection has spread below the gum line. As a result of the bacterial infection, the jawbone deteriorates while the supporting gums are pulled away from the teeth. When these two factors are combined, tooth loss occurs as the supporting structures of bone and tissue deteriorate. The symptoms of this condition include receding gums, bad breath, and gingival pockets. As a result, pus may form, which indicates an infection.

Periodontitis (Aggressive)
This is a very rapid progression that stems from periodontitis. Gingival ligaments that hold your teeth in place may quickly deteriorate and jaw bone damage may occur at a more advanced rate. Luckily, there are ways to reverse this damage with guided bone regeneration.

Periodontitis (Chronic)
The term chronic periodontitis refers to the inflammation of the gingival tissues around the teeth. Due to gum recession, this can result in bone loss. Your teeth may be very loose and you may have gingival pockets.

Systemic Periodontitis
Periodontitis caused by a systemic disease is called systemic periodontitis. This type of condition may include:

Respiratory disease
Heart disease

How to stop gum disease:
One way to prevent future gum problems is to improve your oral health routine. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Additionally, you should visit your dentist every six months. Keep reading to learn more about how to maintain good gum health.

Your daily oral health routine should include flossing. Floss at least once a day. By flossing, you can remove plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing should be done after brushing. Flossing can be done in the morning, in the afternoon, or even at night. By flossing at least once a day, you can significantly reduce your risk of periodontal disease.

Regular Dental Cleanings
You will be able to detect gum disease easily if you visit your dentist regularly, every six months. By having your teeth cleaned regularly, the dentist will be able to detect warning signs of gum disease before it becomes a serious problem. Professional cleaning will remove any buildup of tartar and plaque. Even if you brush and floss regularly, hard-to-reach areas may result in plaque buildup. If you suffer from gingivitis, it may be possible to fully reverse it with regular dental visits.

Stop Smoking
Here’s one more reason for you to stop smoking. Gum disease can be greatly reduced by quitting smoking. You may find it more difficult to fight gum disease if you smoke, because smoking weakens your immune system. In addition, smoking makes it much harder for the gums to heal after they have already suffered damage.

Brush Daily
Brush your teeth every day. As a result, you will be able to remove the food and plaque that are trapped between your gums. Give your tongue a good scrub as well. Bad breath may be caused by bacteria on your tongue, particularly on the back of the tongue. Make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles and fits comfortably in your mouth. Consider using an electronic toothbrush if you are able to do so. Compared to manual toothbrushes, these toothbrushes are significantly more effective at removing plaque. Ensure that the head is replaced every few months.

Use fluoride toothpaste.
When choosing toothpaste, be sure to select one that will prevent gum disease. In stores, there are a variety of products claiming to reduce gingivitis and freshen your breath. Which one should you pick? The most important thing is to choose a product that is ADA-sealed and contains fluoride.

Use mouthwash
Over-the-counter mouthwash can help you reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis. Plaque and tartar can be reduced with mouthwash, as can food particles stuck between teeth.

Our periodontist office can help if you are already in the late stages of gum disease. Our professional experience in treating periodontal disease enables us to assist you in reversing even the most severe stages of gum disease. Please contact our periodontist office today to schedule an appointment. Make your oral health a priority with the help of our team.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302