Periodontal Disease Treatment for Washington DC, Chevy Chase MD, Bethesda MD

Many people assume gum disease is a problem for the elderly. However, the American Academy of Periodontology has found that a staggering 47.2% (almost half) of all adults suffer from gum disease. In addition to being a painful condition, periodontal disease (gum disease) can also make your smile less attractive contribute to more serious problems.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Bright Red, Irritated Gum Tissue: Inflamed, sore gums may be a sign of an infection in your gums.
  • Bleeding Gums: Many people mistakenly believe bleeding gums when you brush or floss is "normal". Bleeding gums are never normal. This is one of the first signs that you have gingivitis - the first stage of gum disease.
  • Bad Breath: If bacteria is allowed to thrive between your teeth, they can emit foul smelling organic volatile compounds that will give you persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis. If you're unsure whether you suffer from this problem, ask an honest, trusted friend to let you know.
  • Receding Gums: A periodontal infection actually eats away at the soft tissues in your mouth. You may notice as your gums recede, your teeth begin to look longer, exposing your roots. Or you may notice your teeth become more sensitive to cold or sweet.
  • Loose or Missing Teeth: Over time, underlying infections in your gums can lead to loss of the bone tissue that holds your teeth in place. When enough bone is lost, you are at risk for losing your teeth.
  • Pus Discharge: When infections are left untreated, you might be left with painful abscesses around your gums and between your teeth. If you spot pus drainage or open boils, it could be a sign of gum disease.

Dr. Rose, A Specialist in Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease Treatments Chevy Chase
Periodontal Disease Treatments Chevy Chase
Is it normal for my gums to bleed?

Serious Health Problems associated with Periodontal Disease

The bacteria that cause gum disease tend to accumulate under the gum line where it's difficult to reach with brushing and flossing. In time, this infection can eat away at the tissue connecting your teeth to your gums and create "pockets" in this small space. As gum tissue recedes, so does the bone, which holds your teeth in place. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in America.

Additionally, studies have connected periodontal disease bacteria with serious, systemic health problems including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, low birth weight in babies, and others. Clearly there is more at stake that sore, bleeding gums.

Periodontal (Gum Disease) Treatment Options

Thankfully, we have many options to treat gum disease, even in advanced stages. If you believe you have symptoms of periodontal disease, it's important that you come in as soon as possible. The earlier we can begin treating the infection, the easier treatment will be - often we can deal with it using non-surgical methods, and the better chance we have of avoiding more serious health problems it can cause. The following treatments are listed from the least severe to most severe cases of periodontal disease.

Scaling and Root Planing: This is considered conventional periodontal therapy to prevent mild cases from progressing. Dr. Rose uses an instrument to gently scrape away accumulations of plaque and tartar. This procedure can also create a smooth, clean surface for gums to reattach to the tooth where it has been separated.

Antibiotics: Sometimes, gum disease can be treated from the inside out. Antibiotics are used to fight the bacteria that cause gum disease—calming your gums and protecting your dental structures. If you have deep pockets of infection, Dr. Rose might even place antibiotic fibers to give the area a little extra dose of medicine.

LANAP: This laser procedure includes cleaning plaque and tartar from below the gumline as well as treating the infected gum tissue with a specialized soft tissue laser. The LANAP procedure is FDA approved and clinically proven to fight infection and help gums regenerate.

Gum Grafting: This procedure is sometimes necessary where significant gum loss has occured. Dr. Rose takes a small piece of tissue from your palate and grafts it under your gumline where gum recession is extreme. Gum grafting involves cutting and stitches, so the recovery time is a bit longer.

Pocket Reduction Surgery: During pocket reduction surgery, flap surgery, or osseous surgery, Dr. Rose will gently detatch and fold back your gums in the infected area. Then he will carefully remove tartar and plaque, and smooth rough bone where bacteria can hide. Next, he'll remove infected gum tissue and stitch you back up. The gums can then heal and prevent bacteria from returning without pockets.

Bone Grafting: If enough bone structure has been lost to put you at risk of losing teeth, you may be a candidate for bone grafting. If so, Dr. Rose will carefully take bone from another area to help rebuild the area that has been lost. This may be necessary to save existing teeth or to create a suitible foundation for dental implants.

Dental Implants: If teeth cannot be saved it's important to replace them to prevent further bone loss due to atrophy. Dental implants are fully functional prosthetics that integrate directly into the bone much like a natural tooth root. They can become anchors for single crowns, bridges, or a full set of dentures.

Dr. Karl "Tony" Rose

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are worried you might have gum disease, contact us at Periodontal & Implant Associates soon for a complete exam of your gums. Washington DC Periodontist Dr. Rose will recommend the appropriate treatment to stop the infection and prevent any more destructive results. We are located in Chevy Chase, MD and are happy to serve the surrounding communities of Bethesda, Silver Spring, Kensington, Woodside, and the entire Washington, DC area.