How Your Local Fairfax, VA Dentist Can Treat Gum Infection
Do your gums look puffy, red, and swollen when you look at them in the mirror? Are they sensitive to touch? Extremes of hot or cold? Do they bleed when you brush your teeth? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it sounds like you’ve got some type of gum infection.
Gum infection near Fairfax, VA is a fairly common condition. At some point, just about everyone will get one. It’s all but a statistical certainty, so you’re certainly not alone.
The good news is that as long as you take action to address the situation in a timely manner, it’s a relatively easy condition to manage and reverse. That starts with regular preventive care, and that means checkups. We recommend scheduling an appointment to come see us every six months in order to minimize your chance of infection and optimize your oral health.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been in for a checkup, we’ll outline the process below in brief, so you’ll see there’s nothing to worry about. It consists of two parts: A thorough cleaning and the oral exam itself. Although the cleaning happens first, we’ll talk about the exam first here.
The exam itself is pretty much what you’d expect. The dentist will come in and carefully inspect your mouth, teeth, and gums to assess your overall level of oral health. X-rays may be taken in order to give the dentist a more in-depth view. If problems are found, he’ll work with you to map out a treatment plan that will see those problems solved.
Before that happens, one of our dental technicians will clean and polish your teeth. Part of that cleaning involves carefully scraping your teeth to remove any plaque that’s built up on them since your last preventive care visit. That’s crucial because plaque causes gingivitis, which is far and away the most common type of gum infection near Fairfax, VA.
Gingivitis is moderately painful and decidedly inconvenient, but it’s really not that serious a condition. If left untreated, however, it will ultimately lead to periodontal disease, which is a much more serious condition and the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.
As your gum infection near Fairfax, VA worsens, your gums themselves will begin to recede, which will expose the roots of your teeth. That’s problematic because the roots of your teeth don’t have a protective coating of enamel, which makes it much more likely that you’ll develop cavities on your now exposed roots.
That’s painful, but that’s not the worst of it. As the condition continues to progress, your gums will recede further, eventually reaching the point where there’s not enough surface area for your teeth to find a firm purchase and stay in your head. That’s ultimately what causes the massive tooth loss we mentioned above.
If you allow your infection to progress to that point, you’ve only got two options. You can either get dentures, or you can have dental implants installed. Neither of those are great options. Dentures tend to be high maintenance and fragile, and although they’re quite common, nobody really likes wearing them, if they’re being honest. Their main advantage, though, is the cost. Since most dental insurance plans offer coverage provisions for dentures, they tend to be relatively inexpensive.
Implants are a much more durable option, but in order to get them, you’ll have to undergo invasive surgery. To add insult to injury, most dental insurance plans don’t cover implants, which means you’ll bear most, if not all, of the cost. Not a happy situation.
The good news is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, gum infection near Fairfax, VA can be cured long before it ever gets to that point, and preventive care is only part of the solution. In addition to that, there are a number of things you can do on a daily basis, right from home, which will minimize your risk. Here are a few suggestions:
- Brush At Least Twice A Day – Almost everybody brushes at least once a day, which is a good start, but not quite enough. We recommend brushing at least twice a day. We also recommend flossing every time you brush. These days, flossing is easier than ever, thanks to a variety of dental picks available on the market today. Some of them are even flavored!
- De-Stress! – Most people don’t realize how big an impact stress can have on your health. The reality is that cortisol, the stress hormone, interferes with the proper functioning of your immune system. The more stress you’re under, the more cortisol you’ve got in your system, and the weaker your immune system becomes. Stress kills, but long before it kills you, it does serious harm to your immune system, making you much more prone to infections of all types, including gum infections.
- Consider Using A Different Toothpaste – Most people just buy whatever brand of toothpaste is on sale. Some brands, though, are infused with additives that serve to improve your general gum health and fortify your teeth. It’s well worth being selective.
- Stop Smoking – Recent research has shown that smokers are a whopping seven times more likely to develop gum infections than non-smokers are. If you’ve been thinking about quitting, now you’ve got one more reason to consider it.
- Start Eating Better – The food you eat provides raw materials to your body. The better you nourish your body, the stronger your immune system will be. It’s just that simple.
Of course, we do a lot more than just keep gum infections at bay near Fairfax, VA. Our practice offers a variety of both general and cosmetic dentistry services, including:
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Porcelain veneers
- Two alternatives to conventional braces, including:
- And the Six Month Smiles Program
- Three different teeth whitening technologies, including:
- Zoom! In Office Whitening Treatment
- The Whitening For Life Program
- And our Kor Whitening System
- Crowns (including metal-free crowns)
- Sedation Dentistry
- And more!
All that to say that once we get you back to optimal oral health, we can help you build the world-class smile you’ve always wanted!
Unfortunately, nobody wants to have to miss work or use up a valuable vacation day to get the dental care they need, and we completely understand that. That’s why we keep our office open late several days a week. As of now, our office hours are as follows:
Monday: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Sunday: Our office is closed on Sunday
In addition to keeping our doors open late and offering a whole range of services, we’ve also worked hard to expand the number of insurance carriers we work with. After all, none of the above matters if we don’t take the dental insurance you have. At present, we accept the following:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Cigna’s Total DPPO plan
- Delta Dental
- Lincoln Financial Group
- Sun Life
- And all United Concordia dental plans, save for those offered exclusively to active military members, who get their care on-base
If you didn’t see your insurance company on the list above, not to worry. We also accept both the Citi Health and Care Credit cards.
Some people don’t have any dental insurance at all, though, and if that describes your situation, we’ve got you covered. We don’t want that to be the reason you don’t get the care you need, which is why we’ve developed our very own Platinum Membership program which offers generous discounts on most of the services we provide.
All that to say, we’ve got you covered. See, we want to do more than just solve whatever issue you’re having right now; we want to be your dental practice of choice for as long as you live in the area.
If you’ve been looking for a full-service dental practice to see to your family’s oral health needs, we invite you to give us a call or stop by the next time you’re in the area. We can hardly wait to meet you!