Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation in the gums that can cause serious damage to your mouth. There are three stages of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which is caused by a buildup of plaque in the gum pockets. If not treated, gingivitis can progress into the second stage known as periodontitis, which affects the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease, which can cause teeth to become loose or fall out. To treat periodontal disease, Smiles of Chevy Chase offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options, depending on the severity of the disease, including scaling and root planing treatments, antibiotics, such as ARESTIN, gum surgery, gum tissue grafting, and in more severe cases, tooth extraction. If you are showing signs of gum disease, contact our office in Chevy Chase, MD to schedule an exam and consultation with experienced dentist Dr. Despina Markogiannakis.
The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is difficult to detect on your own, which is why it's important to schedule and attend annual dental exams at Smiles of Chevy Chase. This gives Dr. Marko an opportunity to measure your gum pockets so she can diagnose and treat gum disease before it can drastically impact your oral and overall health. As gum disease progresses, symptoms will include red or swollen gums, bleeding caused by routine brushing and flossing, a receded or separated gums, and persistent bad breath. In the later stages of gum disease, you may also experience discomfort while chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. It is important to schedule a dental appointment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms so that the infection can be treated before it spreads.
What to Expect
Treatment for periodontal disease will be determined by the severity of the infection. After Dr. Markogiannakis diagnoses your gum disease, she will go over her recommendations for your treatment plan. For mild cases, scaling and root planing (SRP) is typically done to deep clean the pockets of the gums. In more advanced cases, an antibiotic, such as ARESTIN, may be prescribed in addition to multiple scaling and root planing treatments. Severe cases of periodontal disease will typically require a surgical procedure, such as regenerative (grafting) or pocket reduction.
Depending on your condition and treatment plan, your recovery time will vary. You may need to schedule multiple appointments at Smiles of Chevy Chase to fully treat your gum disease. Once your oral health has been restored, you should continue scheduling routine dental examinations and cleanings at Smiles of Chevy Chase. You should also maintain a good at-home oral hygiene routine, which includes daily brushing and flossing. Dr. Marko may recommend an antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to decrease your risk of redeveloping gum disease.
The cost of periodontal disease treatment will vary, depending on the severity of the disease and the procedures required. If you have dental insurance, our office will contact your insurance company to determine what they cover and if there will be any additional costs. For patients without insurance, Smiles of Chevy Chase accepts many payment methods, and we can help you find low-interest medical financing. If you have any concerns about costs, please talk to Dr. Marko during your consultation. Avoiding the dentist because of financial concerns may lead to bigger problems and more expensive treatments down the line.
Gum disease will continue to progress without the proper treatment so it is important to seek professional help as soon as any symptoms occur. At Smiles of Chevy Chase, we work with you to restore your gum health and prevent future instances of infection. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Markogiannakis, contact our office in Chevy Chase, MD.