Is It Too Late For a Gum Graft? | Orthodontist Near Me

Periodontist Waldorf

Our gums play a crucial role in ensuring optimal oral health. Therefore, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may lead to severe problems, including bad breath and even tooth loss. 

Various factors, such as genetics, family history, hormones, lack of dental care, aggressive bruising, etc., can cause our gums to recede, resulting in further adverse oral health conditions.

What is gum grafting?

The gum grafting procedure involves carefully removing a small amount of existing tissue and replacing it with new tissue—often used to prevent further gum recession or to cover exposed root surfaces of teeth. It is possible to use tissue from a variety of sources for this procedure, but usually it is taken from the palate (roof of the mouth) after it has been numbed for your comfort. Using suturing material that’s finer than human hair, it is delicately sutured (stitched) in the place where it is needed.

Following the grafting procedure, your body’s natural healing process takes over. During this time, new blood vessels grow into the graft, helping it integrate with the surrounding tissue. In addition to improving aesthetics, a successful graft can also reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity and further gum recession.

The procedure is common and relatively quick. A periodontist may suggest other treatment options or surgery depending on your oral health. By treating it early, you can reduce the risk of adverse health effects. In any case, it’s never too late to seek a diagnosis for gum grafting treatment with our Waldorf MD Periodontist.

Different types of gum graft procedures

Today, three types of gum grafting are available, including: 

  • Connective Tissue Graft: In this procedure, connective tissue from under the palate is used to cover exposed tooth roots.
  • Free Gingival Graft: This procedure usually uses a smaller amount of flap to build up thin gums.
  • Pedicle Graft: With this gum grafting technique, the gum tissue is misplaced and needs to be surgically repositioned.

When is a gum graft recommended?

It is highly recommended that you undergo gum grafting surgery under the care of a periodontist if the roots of your teeth are exposed as a result of receding gums. The pocket between the gums and the tooth formed by receding gums becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. When this bacteria buildup hardens into plaque and tartar, one is at risk for infections, tooth decay, and advanced gum disease, which can lead to bone and tissue loss and even tooth loss. 

A receding gum line is not always visible to the naked eye, unlike a receding hairline. As such, even if one doesn’t notice a change in their gums, it is recommended to get regular dental check-ups to prevent permanent damage and tooth loss. 

The gums play a crucial role in keeping our teeth in place and helping to maintain our general oral hygiene. It is therefore crucial that we get regular checkups to prevent adverse health effects and undergo surgery, if necessary.

For any questions you may have about the gum grafting procedure or to schedule an appointment with our Periodontist in Waldorf MD, please contact our office.

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

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
Url: https://www.drkarlsmith.com/
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf, MD 20602

Untreated Periodontal Disease Can Be a Problem | Periodontist in Alexandria

Waldorf Periodontist

Periodontal disease is an infection and inflammation of the gums that damages the soft tissue between the teeth. If left untreated, this condition can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of adults aged 30 or older and 70.1% of adults aged 65 or older suffer from periodontal disease.

While periodontal disease is common, it is preventable through proper oral hygiene and treatment. By having regular dental checkups, you can prevent periodontal disease from affecting your oral health.

Are there any long-term effects of periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis. The gum tissue might look red and swollen, causing bad breath. If left untreated, it can lead to mild to moderate periodontitis, characterized by infections and bleeding gums.

As periodontal disease progresses, tartar and bacteria get deeper into the gums and damage the bone and ligaments underneath. Eventually, this results in receding gums, bone damage, and tooth loss.

Periodontitis affects more than just your oral health. As bacteria and tartar grow in your mouth, they can enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your body, causing health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Periodontal disease should be treated before it negatively affects your overall health.

Common causes and risk factors

You are at a higher risk of gum disease if you have the following factors:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition, including a lack of vitamin C
  • Medication that causes dry mouth or affects the gums
  • Having a family history of periodontitis
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth on a regular basis
  • Tobacco use, whether smoking or chewing
  • Hormonal changes
  • Avoiding routine dental examinations and cleanings
  • Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, or kidney disease.
  • Cancer treatment, leukemia, and HIV/AIDS can decrease immunity.

Periodontal disease prevention tips

  • Brushing: Brushing your teeth after meals helps remove plaque and food particles that have accumulated between your teeth and gums. You should also brush your tongue, as food particles and bacteria can settle there. Make sure your toothbrush is soft-bristled.
  • Floss: Be sure to floss between your teeth and gums at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque.
  • Mouthwash Rinse: Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to keep it fresh and germ-free.
  • Diet: Sugary foods and drinks can cause your mouth to produce acids. Avoid sticky foods that promote bacterial growth.

It is recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year. You should not wait more than six months between visits. They will examine your teeth, gums, bone structure, and any symptoms or risk factors associated with periodontal disease. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to reversing gum disease and preserving your oral health.

Periodontal disease does not have to lead to tooth loss. With the proper care, you can make them last a lifetime. Our Waldorf periodontist will create a treatment and care plan to treat any periodontal problems you may have. Contact our Impant Dentist in Waldorf office today to schedule an appointment.

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

Get to Know the 4 Stages of Periodontal Disease | Periodontist in Alexandria

20602 Periodontist

Keeping good oral health is as easy as daily brushing and flossing and twice-yearly checkups at the dentist, but many people believe that the worst consequence of letting oral health slide is a cavity or two. A cavity is indeed serious enough to require dental intervention, but it is only one of many negative outcomes. One of the worst is periodontal disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and other health problems.

What is periodontal disease?

When teeth and gums are not properly brushed and flossed, bacteria flourish, and plaque and tartar build-up create a serious gum infection. Gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease, can also be caused by smoking. Furthermore, medical conditions that reduce saliva flow, such as diabetes, pose a significant risk. Of the four stages of periodontal disease, only the first can be reversed—the rest will require advanced treatments with a periodontist.

Gingivitis

Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup around the teeth, causing swelling and redness, bruising when you brush or floss, and bad breath. At this stage, the infection is mild and has not attacked the tooth root or bones, which means it can be reversed. It’s just a matter of brushing and flossing more thoroughly and getting a professional cleaning from your dentist. 

Early Periodontitis

Periodontal disease that progresses beyond gingivitis might not be reversible, but it can still be managed. By this stage, the infection has spread to the bone and is attacking bone tissues with stronger, more aggressive bacteria. An increase in swelling or redness of the gums and bleeding during brushing or flossing may indicate slight periodontal disease. This stage of the disease can be diagnosed by your dentist by probing the space between your gums and teeth. A depth of four to five millimeters indicates the presence of mild periodontal disease that will require specialized cleaning procedures.

Moderate Periodontitis

Symptoms of moderate periodontal disease are similar to those of slight periodontal disease, though probing depths are deeper, between six and seven millimeters. The deeper the pocket between your teeth and gums, the more bacteria attacks your teeth and jawbone. The bacteria can also enter your bloodstream and immune system at this stage. Stages 2 and 3 are treated in the same way through scaling and root planing, which are intense deep cleaning procedures that remove bacterial deposits below the gumline. 

Advanced Periodontitis

When you ignore the symptoms of earlier stages of periodontal disease, you will move on to stage 4, which threatens irreversible bone loss. Symptoms of this stage include red, swollen gums that ooze pus, painful chewing, extreme cold sensitivity, severe bad breath, and loose teeth. At this point, the only solutions are to undergo periodontal surgery or periodontal laser therapy, which will clean out the deep pockets of bacteria and allow the gums to heal.

The best way to prevent periodontal disease and the associated symptoms and complications is to brush and floss daily. However, if you do have symptoms of gum disease, you should see a dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.

Our Waldorf Periodontist office specializes in treating issues related to gum disease. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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

Can Poor Oral Health Affect Your Liver? | Periodontist in Alexandria

Alexandria VA Periodontist

In the United States, the incidence of liver cancer has tripled since 1980, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). According to the ASCO, liver cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among men. Research indicates that it is more likely that you will develop this type of cancer if your oral health is poor.

It is well documented that certain conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can be aggravated by an unhealthy mouth. This fact has been reaffirmed by a large-scale study conducted in the United Kingdom that found that people with poor oral health (sore and bleeding gums, loose teeth) had a 75% higher risk of developing liver cancer. 

Conducted by Haydee Jordao, the study analyzed the effects of oral health on several digestive system cancers, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and of course, the liver. They found no link between oral health and the overall risk of gastrointestinal cancer.

However, their study found a strong correlation between liver cancer and cancers of specific organs. The researchers are still unsure of why this may be the case. This could be explained by the liver’s role in eliminating bacteria from the body. Perhaps diseases such as cancer impair the liver’s ability to function. In addition to decreased oral health, poor nutrition can lead to obesity and other health problems that stress the body. 

We place a great deal of importance on your oral health, and we think you should too. Contact our Waldorf Periodontics office to schedule your next appointment. Your oral health may save your life. 

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

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
Url: https://www.drkarlsmith.com/
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602

Can Oral Health be Improved by Sun Exposure? | Periodontist in Alexandria

Periodontist 20602

When the sun is shining, the world seems to smile. All the extra sun may be beneficial for your gums as well. But how? Our Waldorf orthodontics team is happy you asked. Let’s find out.

Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D. Despite this, nearly one billion people worldwide lack adequate levels of vitamin D. Apart from keeping bones and teeth strong, vitamin D also supports a healthy immune system, making it a crucial component of our health. When the immune system is weak, many health problems can occur, including gum disease. Inflamed or sore gum tissue can cause loose teeth, painful gums, and even tooth loss.

You may notice a difference in your immune system if you get more sunlight. Although it doesn’t replace your daily oral hygiene routine, that extra bit of sun could keep your gums healthy and happy. But the fascinating part is that sunlight is free.  So why not take advantage of it?

Enjoy your outdoor fun while knowing that your oral health and overall health are being taken care of because of the sun. Contact our Alexandria, VA orthodontics office to schedule your next appointment and avoid gum disease.

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

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
Url: https://www.drkarlsmith.com/
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602

How to Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums | Periodontist Near Me

Periodontist 20602

No matter how busy your life gets, the importance of your oral health and wellness cannot be underestimated. Keeping that in mind, here are three tips shared by our periodontist in 22302 that will keep you out of the dentist’s chair and allow you to enjoy your life with healthy teeth. 

Moderation is vital

We can’t wait to try all of the delicious foods in the world. However, some of them may negatively affect our teeth and gums. Soft drinks that contain acids and sugars, such as lemonade, sweet tea, soda, and alcoholic beverages, can harm your teeth. Corn on the cob and bones in meat damage teeth and cause them to stick between them. It would help if you always had floss on hand. Although avoiding all sweets isn’t fun, neither is suffering from a toothache, so be sure to limit your consumption. 

 It is not recommended to open bottles with your teeth. 

Almost everyone has seen someone open a bottle with their teeth or has done it themselves. Your teeth are used in your haste to get back to the celebrations, so you struggle to open a bottle. However, teeth aren’t intended for such tasks. This may result in a broken or painful tooth. Though it may seem like the quickest and easiest solution, it is not the smartest thing to do. Remember that your teeth are precious; don’t abuse them.

Always put safety first!

Help prevent injuries to your mouth by wearing a mouth guard when necessary while participating in sports.  According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year. Whether you’re a professional athlete or play recreationally, you should wear the proper mouth protection to protect your teeth.

Keeping up with your regular oral hygiene routine is the best thing you can do for your oral health. Maintain healthy teeth and gums by brushing two to three times a day, flossing daily, and scheduling your next visit to our periodontics office in Waldorf, MD.

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

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602

A Healthy Smile Starts with Healthy Gums | Periodontist Waldorf

20602 Periodontist

The idea of a healthy smile is often associated with perfectly aligned white teeth. Many people are unaware that an unhealthy mouth and body are linked. As the foundation for a healthy mouth, gum and periodontal health should not be taken lightly. With proper oral hygiene and regular visits with our periodontist in 22302, you can help maintain your oral health.

When your gums are healthy, your teeth are healthy.

Teeth are held in place by the gums, making chewing and biting possible. Healthy gums attach to the root of the tooth and the socket where the tooth is placed. Healthy gums protect the teeth and jawbone from physical damage and disease.

Periodontal disease can lead to serious systemic problems.

It’s essential to take care of your mouth. It is also possible to contract diseases in other parts of the body if you have a persistent infection in your mouth. Infections in the mouth are linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke in some cases. Professional periodontal care is critical if you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease

 What are the signs that your gums are healthy?

Gums that are in good health are pink and adhere to your teeth. Flossing and brushing them properly shouldn’t cause them to bleed. Please contact our office with questions about your gums, teeth, or oral health or if you would like to make an appointment, give our periodontics office in Alexandria, VA a call.

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

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602

Periodontitis Relief | Periodontist in 20602

Alexandria VA Implant Dentist

In the United States, there are about 45% of people who have periodontal disease. The various forms of periodontal disease range from mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can affect soft tissue and lead to tooth loss. With our experienced dentist, we treat both new and existing patients suffering from periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is often caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene practices. Maintaining optimal oral health requires daily brushing and flossing and regular exams and dental cleanings by a professional. Plaque can form on the teeth when these practices are not followed. The plaque may harden over time and turn into tartar if it isn’t properly removed. Once that has occurred, a dental professional should be consulted to remove tartar from teeth.

Tartar may continue to build up if gum disease is not treated promptly. If this happens, gum disease may progress. Without proper oral hygiene can cause the gums to swell, bleed, and redden. To prevent the disease from progressing, professional periodontal treatment is required.

Periodontitis occurs when periodontal disease is not treated. Periodontitis is a more effective form of periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gum line. Without professional assistance, these spaces are challenging to clean and can quickly deteriorate the mouth’s health. A periodontal infection may destroy bone, gums, and soft tissues without prompt and thorough treatment. In adults, periodontal disease is among the leading causes of tooth loss.

Poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women are the most common factors contributing to periodontal disease. It can be more challenging to clean your teeth properly if your gums develop abnormal tissues due to medications. The risk of periodontal disease increases for people receiving treatment for AIDS.

We have a trained and experienced periodontist in 20602 who is trained in diagnosing and treating all stages of periodontal disease. Contact our office for a consultation if you are experiencing periodontal symptoms. The following symptoms may occur: Chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, swollen or red gums, sensitive or bleeding gums, and difficulty chewing. Our periodontist offers excellent periodontal care to patients and welcomes new patients for a consultation. Call our Waldorf, MD periodontics office today to learn more and to schedule an appointment.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302

Dental History from the Past to the Present | Dental Implants in Waldorf MD

20602 Periodontist

Tooth decay results from the presence of “tooth worms.” As a result of the modern medical industry, we now know there are no tooth worms. The evolution of dentistry over time shows how it has become a comfortable and safe science.

From the very beginning,

The ancient Egyptians had dentists who dealt with teeth. According to recent research, the Chinese are thought to have used acupuncture to treat pain associated with tooth decay as early as 2700 BCE.

Aristotle and Hippocrates described using red-hot wires and sterilization procedures to treat teeth and oral diseases in 500 BCE. Additionally, these wires were used to bind loose teeth and stabilize jaw fractures.

The 1600s and 1700s: Visionary Thoughts

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the 1600s and 1700s were a time of great innovation in the dental world. The Operator of Teeth was the first English dental textbook, published in 1695 by Charles Allen. Among the recommendations he gives in the book are making homemade toothpaste from powdered coal, rose water, and dragon blood. In fact, Allen even mentions wisdom teeth in his book and suggests using dog teeth as organ transplants.

When Pierre Fauchard published The Surgeon Dentist in the 18th century, he was far ahead of his time in medical practice. For the first time, he described dentistry as a profession of the modern age. The book covers several important topics, such as sugar as the cause of dental caries (cavities), braces being used to correct teeth alignment, and the dentist’s chair light. 

Progressivism during the 1800s.

A great deal was discovered and invented during the 1800s. Auguste Taveau created a dental filling made from silver coins and mercury in 1816. Thomas Morton first used ether anesthesia for surgery in 1840, after Horace Wells demonstrated the use of nitrous oxide to sedate patients.

During the same year, Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris created the first dental school, invented the modern doctorate in dental surgery, and established the first dental society to boost modern dentistry. A mechanized dental drill, porcelain inlays, toothpaste tubes, and porcelain inlays were all invented by the end of the 1800s. 

The 1900s were a time of scientific advancement.

As a result of scientific advances in the 1900s, the dental industry saw some fantastic developments. With the invention of electricity, electric drills became available. Novocain was introduced by US dentists in 1907, together with precision case fillings made by a lost wax casting machine.

The method of tooth bonding was described in 1955 by Michael Buonocore for repairing cracked enamel. As a result, the first fully-reclining dental chair was introduced to ease patients’ and dentists’ discomfort. The first at-home systems for bleaching teeth also appeared in the 1990s, as did “invisible” braces. 

 Where Does Dentistry Go From Here?

Nowadays, dental professionals are examining the connection between oral and overall health. It is becoming increasingly popular to use gene-mediated therapeutics to alter the genetic structure of teeth to increase their resistance to decay. There is hope that teeth can be built back up again around weakened enamel. We can’t predict what the future of dentistry will bring, but our periodontist in 20602 is committed to acquiring the most influential modern technology when it becomes available. 

 Experience the benefits of modern dentistry by scheduling an appointment with our periodontics office in Waldorf, MD.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302

Probiotics: Not Just For Digestion | Periodontist in 20602

Dental Implants Alexandria

Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health, along with providing benefits to various other parts of your body. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease. They have the following effects on gum tissue and oral health:

Reducing Gingivitis

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce bleeding gums and inflammation in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival health.

Combating Periodontitis

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Our periodontist in 20602 shares that periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums by destroying tissue fibers, creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help keep the disease in check.

Fighting Tooth Decay

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.

Minimizing Bad Breath

A less common benefit of probiotics is the effect that they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways that probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body. They fight off bad bacteria, reducing the amount of inflammation and plaque in your mouth. They also combat any kind of systemic inflammation. Contact our dental office in Waldorf, MD for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit today.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (301) 638-4867
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf , MD 20602