Gum disease is called periodontal disease and it happens to most every adult in one form or another. The hygienist will check by probing around the teeth gently and measuring the pockets around the teeth. Those that are fairly moderate, the first step that they'll do is to place an antibiotic called Arestin right into the pocket site. Years ago we would give them Penicillin and they would take that bodily, but that never really got to where it needed to go. Arestin is new, fairly new.
It does a great job of getting into the pockets and really killing all the bacteria and really helping cut down on the gum disease. If it's a little more resistant to that, then the hygienist will do deep scaling, which is done under anesthesia. Patients tolerate it really well. That helps too to really cut back on the gum disease. If a patient is still resistant and the pockets are a little deeper, we can use a laser to go down into the pockets and clean out the pockets very nicely. We've gotten some really good results with that as well as far as reducing gum disease.
Dr. Lawrence Fox, Dr. Erik Fox, and their professional team are committed to providing minimally invasive and cost-effective treatments. Nonsurgical periodontal treatment is just one of the ways our Burke practice can help you improve your oral health without causing unnecessary pain or dental anxiety. When combined with the kindness and compassion of our doctor and hygienists, a less stressful option can be a breath of fresh air. To learn more about the non-surgical periodontal treatments we perform, contact our office serving Burke, Fairfax, and Annandale.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
If you have a hard time maintaining an at-home dental hygiene routine, or you have avoided going to the dentist for semi-annual checkups and cleanings, your mouth may be at risk. The food debris, bacteria, and mucus that build up and create a film on the enamel of your teeth is called plaque. This infamous material can be controlled with regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings. If plaque is left untreated, however, it will harden and become tartar, trapping the harmful materials at base of your teeth. Both plaque and tartar cause inflammation and irritation in your gums, a condition referred to as gingivitis. In the long term, these uncomfortable effects will become more harmful, and can lead to periodontal disease. This more advanced stage of the disease causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets that harbor infection-causing bacteria.
Deep Scaling & Root Planing
One of the most common non-surgical periodontal treatments used at our Burke office is deep scaling and root planing – essentially a deep cleaning. This two-step process can usually be completed in a single, three-hour appointment while you are comfortable under anesthesia. Dr. Fox will begin by removing the deposits of plaque, tartar, toxins, and bacteria on the surfaces of your teeth, underneath your gums, on your tooth roots, and in the pockets left by the disease.
The material that builds up in your mouth to cause periodontal disease is often found stuck to small rough spots on your tooth roots. The root planing element of the treatment involves removing these spots to keep bacteria from collecting in the future.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
One of the least invasive, non-surgical periodontal therapies available at our Burke office is performed using highly advanced dental lasers. Laser therapy replaces scalpels and surgery for a virtually painless solution to gum disease. Capable of specifically targeting the diseased gum, the laser cleans the tooth and surrounding soft-tissues. Recorded as being more effective than antibiotics, laser therapy eliminates the need for harsh medicines, involved surgeries, or significant post-treatment downtime.
The Importance of Healthy Gums
It is understood that your oral health directly affects your overall health, and your gums are the foundation of your oral health. If you’re living with diseased or unhealthy gums, the rest of your body is suffering as well. If you think you may have symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease, Dr. Fox urges you to seek his professional help. Maintaining a healthy smile can be as easy as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting our office for a checkup once every six months.
Learn More about Non-surgical Periodontal Treatment
We believe that everyone deserves a healthy, happy smile, and our non-surgical gum disease treatments can help you achieve optimal oral health. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Fox.