Periodontal Therapy in Herndon
Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common oral health concerns affecting more than 50% of US adults over 30. This oral health issue occurs when plaque and tartar buildup at the gum line leads to irritation or infection of the soft tissue. In the earliest stages, gingivitis, minimal discomfort and bleeding may be the only symptoms. Typically, more frequent professional cleanings and improved at-home hygiene are adequate to reverse the damage of gingivitis, but left untreated, it develops into the more severe periodontitis. Advanced periodontal disease can lead to a number of detrimental oral health effects including tooth loss. At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we’re happy to help patients restore oral health following gum disease with a variety of periodontal therapies. Contact our team to find out more or schedule an appointment today.
Scaling & Root Planing
The first step to restoring oral health following gum disease is typically combining scaling and root planing treatments. These deep cleanings that remove infected tissue and prevent future infection, are essential to renewing oral health. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque, tartar, and infected gum tissue. Root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future buildup of plaque and tartar that may lead to the spread of gum disease. This procedure is traditionally completed by cutting away damaged soft tissue with a scalpel and reattaching the healthy parts of gums using stitches. In most cases, Dr. Nazila Ganji recommends the use of a soft tissue laser to complete this procedure more quickly and effectively. While scaling and root planing are an effective first step in restoring oral health following gum disease, patients may also need topical antibiotic therapy and more frequent professional teeth cleanings as part of an ongoing treatment plan.
The initial cause of periodontal disease is bacteria. While bacteria in the mouth is healthy and natural, the sticky, acidic plaque produced by bacteria may cause concerns including gum disease. In order to prevent reinfection following periodontal therapy, we may recommend the use of topical antibiotics to reduce the amount of bacteria present in the mouth. Applied directly to the gums following scaling and root planing, antibiotics continue to work for days or weeks after treatment. This means bacteria and plaque are less prevalent, which gives the gums an opportunity to heal. The goal of antibiotic therapy is to reduce the future risk for reinfection or spread of periodontal disease. In many cases, patients are able to fully restore their oral health with antibiotic therapy and more frequent professional teeth cleanings at our office.
Soft Tissue Laser
Traditionally, soft tissue therapies were completed using a scalpel to remove damaged tissue and stitches to reattach the healthy gums. While these procedures are effective in repairing damage, they are often uncomfortable and take a significant amount of time to heal. Soft tissue laser dentistry allows us to perform a number of periodontal therapies without the need for scalpels and sutures. Instead, a high frequency laser light is used to simultaneously remove damaged tissue, cauterize wounds, and promote faster healing times. We perform a number of treatments using our soft tissue laser, including scaling and root planing, gum recontouring, and crown lengthening.