Your teeth tend to steal the show, but when it comes to the health of your smile, your gums play just as important a role. At Dental NV in Sterling, Virginia, Shahrokh Soltani, DMD, offers state-of-the-art periodontology services to ensure that your gums stay healthy and beautiful. To learn more, schedule a visit today by calling the office or booking an appointment online.
Periodontology is the study of the periodontium, or the system of hard and soft tissues that keep your teeth attached to your jaws. Periodontists mostly deal with treating gum disease, but they also specialize in placing and maintaining dental implants, as well.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gum tissue. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque and tartar are filled with bacteria and acids that are harmful to your gum tissue. When they’re left on your teeth for too long, they begin to irritate your gum tissue.
In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis, your gums become inflamed as a result of the irritation. This can leave them tender and swollen, and can cause them to bleed when you brush. Gingivitis can be entirely reversed, however, with improved at-home care and more frequent professional cleanings.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it develops into periodontitis. In periodontitis, your gums become so irritated from the plaque and tartar buildup that they begin to pull away or recede from your teeth.
This creates “pockets” between your teeth and gums that are susceptible to catching debris and bacteria, which continues to irritate your gum tissue, causing your gums to recede even further. This cycle continues until the structures supporting your teeth have totally decayed, and you suffer tooth loss.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Dr. Soltani offers a variety of periodontal treatments at Dental NV, and will recommend a particular course of action based on the severity of your condition.
If your gum disease is in the early gingivitis stages, Dr. Soltani can typically treat it with more frequent professional cleanings and by helping you improve your at-home care.
If your gum disease has progressed to the stage of periodontitis, Dr. Soltani might recommend scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning procedure that’s done under local anesthetic. Dr. Soltani first removes plaque, tartar, and toxins from above and below your gumline (scaling) before smoothing down the rough edges of your teeth (planing) to give your gums a clean surface to reattach to. He might also recommend certain medications, medicated mouthwashes, and an electric toothbrush to enhance your recovery.
If your pockets still haven’t shrunk after scaling and root planing, you might need more advanced treatments, like flap/pocket reduction surgery.
To learn more about how periodontology can improve your smile, schedule a visit with Dr. Soltani at Dental NV today by calling the office or booking online.