Whenever you look down at the sink after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth, do you always see pink? Bleeding gums could be a sign of periodontal (gum) disease, a very common infection that often leads to tooth loss if left untreated. The team at NaLa Smiles is ready to take care of your gums as well as your teeth in order to keep your smile healthy and whole, so if you’ve noticed any bleeding, swelling, or sensitivity lately, be sure to give us a call to get periodontal treatment in Alexandria, VA right away.
Periodontal disease is primarily caused by a buildup of bacteria-filled plaque and tartar on the teeth beneath the gum line, usually as the result of a lack of oral hygiene. This can cause the nearby tissues to become irritated, inflamed, and even start to break down over time. Scaling & root planing is specifically designed to tackle these deposits. First, the plaque and tartar are removed (scaling), and then the roots of the teeth are slightly reshaped to prevent them from accumulating again (root planing), lowering the chances of reinfection.
While scaling & root planing is extremely effective at removing periodontal disease bacteria, it sometimes isn’t capable of getting it all. Why? Because the bacteria often like to hide in extremely small spaces located between the teeth and gums called periodontal pockets. Thankfully, antibiotic therapy helps us address this. Applied directly to the gums, the medicine quickly dries and then slowly dissolves over the next few days, enabling a powerful antimicrobial agent to reach the deepest part of the pockets and eliminate any leftover bacteria.
One of the most common symptoms of advanced periodontal disease is gum recession, in which the tissues actually pull back from the teeth to expose the sensitive enamel located around the roots. This cannot only affect the appearance of the smile but also make a patient more susceptible to tooth loss. Traditionally, an invasive gum graft was the only way to reverse this, but thankfully, Dr. Barakat is able to perform the Chao Pinhole Technique. Using no incisions or sutures, this procedure allows him to gently massage the gum line back into place using a hole that is literally the size of a pin. It’s much faster and more comfortable than a gum graft, results can be seen instantly, and a patient is able to recover quickly as well.