Many of us picture the color red when we think of February. After all, it’s the color of romance, roses, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. What most of us don’t imagine when we think of February is the red of bleeding gums. Since February is actually National Gum Disease Awareness Month, now seems like the perfect time to discuss what you need to know about gum disease, along with some tips on how to avoid the need for gum disease treatment in Fairfax.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
In its early stages, gum disease may not display any symptoms until damage has already been done. That’s why you should tell your dentist if you experience any of the following signs:
- Bleeding gums in Fairfax when brushing and flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose and shifting teeth
- Change in the way your teeth come together when you bite
- Receding gums that make your teeth look longer
How Your Dentist Can Treat Gum Disease
Modern dentistry has come a long way in treating gum disease, so today’s treatments are much easier than they used to be. In some cases, like if your gum disease is caught in the early stages, a simple round of antibiotics may be all that’s needed to eliminate the infection. However, in more serious cases, your dentist in Fairfax might need to use what’s called soft tissue laser treatment.
This process is significantly less invasive than traditional surgical procedures that have been used in the past to treat gum disease. Once you’re sufficiently numbed with local anesthetic, your dentist will use the soft tissue laser to remove infected gum tissue. The laser actually cauterizes the tissue as it goes, resulting in less bleeding and faster healing than other gum disease treatment methods. The treated areas are also sterilized, greatly reducing the risk of further re-infection in the future.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Of course, the best treatment for gum disease is to prevent it in the first place. Follow these tips to help accomplish that:
- Floss between your teeth every day to remove food particles and plaque from along your gumline.
- Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums.
- Stick to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in processed and sugary foods.
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
- See your dentist twice a year for regular checkups. That way your dentist can catch gum disease in its early stages. Cleanings can also remove plaque that increases your risk for gum disease.
Being proactive about your oral hygiene can save your teeth and gums from the dangers of gum disease. Follow the tips listed above, and be sure to ask your dentist for more advice on how you specifically can avoid this dangerous condition.
About the Author
Dr. Hisham Barakat has earned a Mastership with the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry, a Fellowship with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Implantology. In addition, he has undergone advanced training in using soft tissue laser therapy for gum disease treatment in Fairfax, VA. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease described in this post, you can contact Dr. Barakat’s office at (703) 207-0700.