FAQ: All About Gum Disease

Dr. Cappy Sinclair and Dr. Mark Reichley offer an extensive menu of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry solutions in our Virginia Beach, VA dentist office. Because of this, there is rarely any dental concern that we cannot treat at Coastal Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry.

One of the most common dental concerns that our doctors treat is gum disease; however, many patients do not know what gum disease is, why it occurs, or how it is treated. Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Reichley answer frequently asked questions about gum disease below.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis, also known as bleeding gums, is caused by an increased amount of food residue building up around your gum line and causing irritation. If you have ever noticed a small amount of blood in the sink following brushing or flossing your teeth, you have likely experienced gingivitis. Gingivitis can be reversed by making improvements to your at-home oral hygiene routine or by scheduling a routine dental cleaning.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease occurs when the food residue on your dental structures hardens into plaque or tartar, making it more difficult to remove on your own. The bacteria inside of the plaque and tartar will begin to eat away at your healthy soft tissues the longer they are allowed to remain on your smile.

Signs and symptoms that occur when gum disease progresses past gingivitis include tender gums, discolored gums, bad breath, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. It’s important to contact your dentist in Virginia Beach, VA right away if you think you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of gum disease.

How can I prevent gum disease?

Gum disease can be prevented by practicing a strict at-home oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Additionally, patients can take extra precautions such as chewing sugar-free gum throughout the day to reduce the amount of food left on their teeth after meals or rinsing their mouth out with water after snacking. Keeping your smile free from food residue and altering your diet to include less sugary or sticky foods will help reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

How is gum disease treated?

For patients experiencing advanced symptoms of gum disease, a procedure known as scaling and root planing may be performed to remove any bacteria above or below the gum line. Laser dentistry solutions may be incorporated into your treatment plan to assist in removing any infected tissue.

For more advanced cases, oral surgery may be necessary to fully restore your smile. The only way to know which treatment option is right for you is to schedule an appointment with your Virginia Beach, VA dentist. Our office is currently welcoming new patients, and we look forward to seeing you soon.