Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States, and getting treatment as early as possible is essential for preventing deep infections and maintaining optimal oral health. Shahrokh Soltani, DMD, at Dental NV has extensive experience diagnosing and treating gum disease in patients from throughout Sterling, Virginia, using a patient-centered approach to provide custom care solutions focused on optimizing your oral health. Take the first step toward better oral health. Call Dental NV, or use our online system to request your appointment.
Gum disease is an infection of your gums that develops when bacteria on the surfaces of your teeth begin to grow and multiply. As they grow, they release toxins that cause the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth surfaces and create tiny spaces or pockets.
These pockets make it easier for the bacteria to travel down the teeth surfaces to the lower portions of the teeth. Over time, the bacteria can reach the root pockets where the infections weaken the tooth roots, eventually causing the teeth to fall out. Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss among men and women in the U.S.
Gum disease occurs in stages. In its earliest and most mild stage, it may cause few or even no symptoms, which is one reason why having regular dental cleanings is so vitally important for catching gum disease early, before serious damage occurs and when treatment is simplest. As the disease progresses, it causes symptoms like:
Dr. Soltani diagnoses gum disease during routine teeth cleaning appointments using a visual exam of your teeth and techniques to evaluate your gum health and to measure the position of your gums on your teeth (the depth of the root pockets). He also looks for deposits of hard tartar along the gum line and between the teeth.
Hard tartar and sticky plaque provide harbors for disease-causing bacteria, and locating and removing these deposits is important not only for preventing gum disease but also for preventing the serious effects of diseases that are already present. Plus, once tartar and plaque are removed, your gums can begin to reattach to the teeth surfaces, reducing or eliminating the spaces that allow bacteria to reach the tooth roots.
That depends on the stage of the disease. If you have mild gum disease, having more frequent cleanings can help make sure plaque and tartar deposits are kept at bay so your gums can heal. For moderate to advanced disease (also called periodontitis), a deeper cleaning may be needed to remove bacteria below the gum line. These deep-cleaning techniques are called root planing and scaling, and they use special methods to remove bacteria in the root pocket and to smooth the root surface so it’s harder for bacteria to cling to the tooth.