How to Keep Your Gums Healthy & Free of Infection

Your gums are a sensitive and vulnerable part of your dental health. Gum infections can eventually occur when infected by plaque—the buildup of bacteria that forms on the surface of teeth. As one of the biggest causes of tooth loss in adults, gum infections call for emergency dental services.

Smile Reston Heights is a local dentistry practice that can help prevent and treat gum disease. We offer non-surgical treatments (including at-home periodontal trays, and deep cleaning), periodontal surgery, laser gum surgery, and more. Plus, we have emergency dental services for Reston, VA, residents if you need treatment right away.

Below, we discuss common symptoms of gum infections as well as the factors that increase your risk of suffering them:

7 Symptoms of Gum Infection

There are two stages of gum disease that can occur: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease where the gums swell, become red, and bleed very easily. Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of gum disease, during which the bone and gums that support teeth may receive irreversible damage. Here are some basic symptoms that you can be on the lookout for.

  1. Swollen, red, and/or tender gums
  2. Bleeding or releasing pus
  3. Receding gums
  4. Chronic bad breath
  5. Loose teeth
  6. Noticeable change in the way your teeth fit when you bite
  7. Changes with the fit of your partial dentures

7 Factors That Put You At Risk of Gum Disease

Most of us want to keep our gums and teeth healthy, and gums are prone to infection if not properly cared for. Being aware of potential risks is a key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having proper care. Here are some risks that you can be on the lookout for so you can plan accordingly:

  1. Smoking or chewing tobacco
  2. Diabetes
  3. Medication (Steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives)
  4. Bridges that don’t fit properly
  5. Crooked teeth
  6. Old fillings
  7. Pregnancy

Common Gum Infection Treatments

If you end up with a gum infection, how might your dentist treat it? Nonsurgical treatments include scaling and root planing, in which an ultrasonic device removes plaque from difficult-to-reach areas in the gums, the surfaces of teeth, and the teeth’s roots.

Surgical treatments include Pocket Depth Reduction (Flap Surgery), Regeneration, and Soft Tissue Graft. During Pocket Depth Reduction, the surgeon folds back the gum tissue and removes accumulated plaque. Any damaged tissue will also be removed and the healthy tissue is sewn together. 

Severe damage to the supporting bone and tissue of your teeth calls for Regeneration. This starts with folding back your gums then cleaning bacteria and plaque. Your dentist may use a tissue stimulus to help along the tissue’s development and repair areas of decay.

Lastly, a Soft Tissue Graft can repair areas where there is little to no gum tissue protecting teeth and roots. So, during this procedure, a surgeon takes healthy tissue from other parts of your mouth and sows it into infected areas. 

Emergency Dental Services Now Available in Reston, VA!

You can prevent gum infections with the right precautions and action. This includes having a primary dentist that you can trust and rely on, who provides regular dental cleanings and checkups to identify and prevent gum disease. Smile Reston Heights offers both regular checkups and emergency dental services to help you maintain excellent oral health. We will help you obtain your best smile, perform efficient cleanings, and checkups to your exact needs. Contact us today to book your appointment or call us at (703) 345-1100 to prevent gum disease and keep your best smile!

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