Many patients who visit our Norfolk, VA dentist office fall within a spectrum of periodontal disease, ranging from an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) to a chronic disease of the gums and bone (periodontitis). At Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry, we promote healthy gums as the foundation for overall health and wellness. The gums are important not only for the health of the smile but the aesthetics as well.
Dr. Cappy Sinclair and Dr. Mark Reichley are dentists in Virginia Beach VA, who place significant emphasis on your periodontal health and offer a variety of treatments to address all stages of gum disease. They start regularly treating children starting at age 4 to help prevent gum disease.
About Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive disease that can damage the integrity of the health and function of the smile. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed off of tartar and plaque buildup and multiply, spreading throughout the mouth. The bacteria will eventually grow in pockets deep inside the gum line. As the bacteria spread, the gum line can separate from the teeth and begin to recede, leaving tooth roots exposed and the teeth can become susceptible to extreme sensitivity and even loss. There are two stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the early stage of this oral health disease and is typically easy to treat. Sometimes we may recommend additional at-home care to prevent it from returning. More frequent professional dental cleanings may be necessary for patients with recurring gingivitis. At this stage, bacteria begin to form deep pockets in the gums causing inflammation and gum recession.
Periodontitis: This is the advanced stage of gum disease and it causes permanent damage to gum tissue and weakens the teeth. By this stage, intensive treatment is required to eliminate the infections, address the damage and restore oral health. If periodontitis is left untreated, teeth may become loose or fall out compromising the function of the bite and jaw bone.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifted teeth
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Sores in the mouth
Treatment For Gum Disease
Most patients prefer a more conservative treatment solution. This is why it’s important you talk to your dentist right away if you notice any of these symptoms. Usually, gum disease treatment at our office is done with the WaterLase laser. Laser dentistry is an advanced technology that’s less invasive than traditional gum disease treatment. This makes it more comfortable for you and quicker as well.
Because of the properties of the laser, it helps to sterilize the areas it’s treating. Since there’s no need for cutting, there’s less blood and you don’t need to get stitches. You experience less pain and faster healing due to it being less invasive. It’s precise enough that only the area that needs treatment is impacted.
Gum Disease Prevention
The best way to fight this oral health disease is prevention. Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Reichley encourage patients to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Regular visits will drastically reduce your chances of getting gum disease. Bi-annual visits to our Virginia Beach, VA dentist office where your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned will remove the bacteria causing plaque and tartar that leads to gum disease.
Another important step to preventing gum disease is to adhere to a healthy diet. This means limiting sodas, sweets, and snacks between meals. Drinking water will also help reduce bacteria in the mouth.
Schedule An Appointment
Our dentist office offers gum disease treatment in Norfolk, VA, and the surrounding communities. If you think your mouth is showing signs of gum disease, call us or schedule an appointment online.