How Gingivitis Treatment Prevents Periodontal Disease near Alexandria, VA

New Patient Offer

FREE Exam & X-Ray with $88 Initial Cleaning ($300 Value)

New Patients Only. Valid only on first visit. Not valid for patients with periodontal disease.

Avoid Tooth Loss with Gingivitis Treatment near Alexandria, VA

At one point or another, just about everyone will wind up with gingivitis. It’s an incredibly common condition that’s more painful and annoying than it is threatening. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, gingivitis can worsen, blossoming into periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.

We’ll get into further details on that in just a moment, but before we do, we have to rewind a bit, because plaque is at the root of both gingivitis and periodontal disease. Our gingivitis treatment near Alexandria, VA then, is all about getting rid of that plaque and minimizing your risk.

How long has it been since you last had a checkup? If you’re struggling to remember the date, the safe choice is to assume that you’re overdue, and you should schedule one right away and then schedule them at six-month intervals after that.

Broadly speaking, our checkups consist of two parts: A thorough cleaning, which counts as our gingivitis treatment near Alexandria, VA, and the oral examination performed by the dentist.

The cleaning comes first, and once we’ve got you settled comfortably in one of our treatment rooms, one of our dental technicians will come in and carefully scrape all the plaque off of your teeth that has accumulated since your last visit.

Even if you brush and floss several times a day, plaque is still going to build up on your teeth, though regular brushing and flossing will certainly slow its rate of buildup.

Once that’s done, the dental technician will clean your teeth and perhaps take X-rays, and then, the dentist will come in and examine your teeth and gums. If the examination reveals that you’ve got gingivitis, a mild antibiotic will serve as the next phase of our gingivitis treatment near Alexandria, VA and should clear the condition up in short order.

Now though, let’s talk about what happens if you do nothing. If you decide to try and tough it out, unfortunately, that approach is doomed to fail. Because if you never come in for your gingivitis treatment near Alexandria, VA, then the plaque will continue to build up, which will make the condition worse.

It will start off innocently enough with red, tender gums. A bit later, when you brush your teeth, you’ll notice a few drops of blood on your toothbrush. If you still don’t do anything to treat the condition, your gums will begin to recede, and the gingivitis will slowly give way to periodontal disease and that’s when the trouble starts.

As your gums continue to recede, that action will begin to expose the roots of your teeth. Unlike the rest of your teeth, your roots don’t have the advantage of a protective coating of enamel, which makes it much easier for cavities to form on your now-exposed roots.

That, however, isn’t ultimately what causes the tooth loss we mentioned before. As the periodontal disease worsens, your gums will recede further, and eventually, there won’t be enough surface area left for your roots to hold your teeth firmly in place. That’s when massive tooth loss occurs.

If you let things progress to that point, you really don’t have any good options. You can either get dentures, or you can get dental implants.

Of the two, most people opt for dentures, not because they like them better, but because dentures are a quick, easy, and generally inexpensive solution to the problem. Most dental insurance plans have coverage provisions for dentures, so you usually wind up with relatively little in the way of out of pocket costs.

Unfortunately, dentures are highly problematic for a number of reasons, including the fact that they:

  • Are incredibly high maintenance. Every night, you’ll have to take them out and put them in a glass filled with cleaning solution. If you forget, you’ll wind up with irritated and inflamed gums, which will serve as a painful reminder not to forget a second time.
  • Are fragile. Even with meticulous care, your dentures are only likely to last a year or two, at which point you’ll have to come back in and get fitted for another set.
  • Limit the kinds of foods you can eat. If you’re a fan of chips and salsa, popcorn, or corn on the cobb, those will be off-limits to you once you get dentures.
  • Impact your speech patterns. Most people who wear dentures speak with a slight lisp.

And of course, on top of all of that, dentures have an annoying and embarrassing tendency to fall out of your head when you least expect it.

The alternative to dentures are dental implants that are sturdy, durable, and long-lasting. Implants don’t suffer from any of the limitations we described above, but they tend to be much more expensive and to get them involves invasive surgery. Sadly, most dental plans don’t offer coverage provisions for implants, though it bears at least investigating to see whether your plan does or not.

Even better though, is to simply stay on top of your preventive care visits and schedule them like clockwork at six-month intervals. That helps keep the plaque buildup to a minimum, which minimizes your risk of gingivitis and never allows it to blossom into periodontal disease.

We can help with that, and all of your other dental needs as well. Give our office a call today or stop by our practice the next time you’re in the area. We’d love to meet you!

Request Appointment