Gum Disease Treaments

Your confident smile is our goal.  To get it you’ll need healthy teeth and healthy gums, and you’ll need a dentist with cosmetic dentistry expertise – to get the shape, position, and color of your teeth just right for you.  Whether you need porcelain veneers or a full-mouth restoration, Dr. Forbes and the team at Capital Dental Design in Richmond can help you every step of the way.

Gum Disease in Richmond, VA

According to the CDC, 50% of Americans have some variation of gum disease, which develops when bacteria attaches to your teeth and multiplies to form plaque. Inflammation and irritation of surrounding tissues caused by plaque that stays on the teeth for too long eventually leads to gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. At this initial stage, which is the mildest, periodontal disease often presents itself as gum inflammation.

Progression to the next stage of gum disease (periodontitis) is likely if the issue is not diagnosed in the early stages. Typical symptoms of periodontitis include increasingly inflamed gums that bleed more easily, the development of deeper pockets between the teeth and gum tissues, and recessed gums. The deeper the pocket, the more bacteria that accumulates, which then degrades both soft and hard tissues. Infection can then more easily take place in the roots of the surrounding teeth, causing teeth to become loose, cause pain, or even fall out. When the gums have receded to this point, a gum graft may be necessary to restore the health of your gums and teeth.

Therapy for treating gum disease is varied, but healthy gums is always the restorative goal. To learn more about gum disease and/or treating gum recession, please refer to the following, or schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve patients throughout Richmond and the surrounding area, including neighborhoods like Southampton, Stratford Hills, Westover Hills, Bon Air, Libbie and Grove, Church Hill, The Fan, Westham, Museum District, and Mooreland Farms.

At Capital Dental Design, we are committed to providing you with effective, considerate care and helping you get the bright, beautiful smile you have always wanted!

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Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gums that are healthy will have a pink and firm appearance. Early indications that gum disease has developed include:

  • Puffy gums
  • Bright red gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Chronic halitosis
  • Persistent unpleasant taste in your mouth

Indications of advanced gum disease include:

  • Deepened gum pockets
  • Recessed gums
  • Loosened teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Tooth loss

Treatments for Gum Disease

Though disease of the gums can spread into the surrounding bones and teeth, causing possible decay and loss, there are proven effective treatments, including deep cleanings (scaling and root planing) for plaque and tartar removal from under the gum line, pocket reduction surgery, crown lengthening surgery, gingival grafts, guided bone and tissue regeneration, and surgery to restore gum and bone tissues.

In the early stages, gum disease is typically treated with a scaling and root planning procedure. For very deep pockets, pocket reduction surgery is used. This process involves folding back the gum tissue so the tooth can be cleaned, and any damaged bone can be smoothed. Crown lengthening surgery is another technique used either as a cosmetic treatment to reduce the appearance of gums or as a medical treatment to reshape gums to expose more of the teeth. Gingival grafts involve taking tissue from the roof of the mouth (or using donor tissue) and stitching this graft to the places where gums have recessed. Guided bone and tissue regeneration is a more complex procedure where biocompatible tissues donated from another person or from your own body can be inserted into gums and bone structures to aid in regrowth.

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Gum Disease Prevention

One of the best ways to avoid developing gum disease and/or gum recession is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Make a habit of brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily and follow a balanced diet that is not overloaded with foods that are sugary or acidic. Additional steps you can take include drinking more water, especially after every meal and using a mouthwash and/or fluoride toothpaste.

Finally, the most important step you can take to preserve your oral health and issues like gum disease or gum recession is to schedule a regular examination with us at least twice a year, or with greater regularity if you are at an increased risk of developing oral health issues. These visits ensure that Dr. Forbes can evaluate your oral health and identify issues before they develop into something worse. They also allow us to perform one of our three types of dental exams: a limited exam (for specific concerns), comprehensive exam (thorough examination of your overall oral health followed by treatment recommendations), or our signature exam, which includes the comprehensive exam as well as a full head and neck exam and ideas for a Digital Smile Design.

Cost of Treating Gum Disease and Gum Recession

Several factors will determine the total cost of treating gum disease and/or gum recession. The severity of your case and whether multiple procedures and appointments are necessary will have the biggest impact on treatment cost. Additional costs may be incurred if dental sedation is necessary and whether the procedure is covered (and if so, how much) by your dental insurance plan. Prior to scheduling any procedure, we will discuss the anticipated costs and answer any questions you may have about billing.

If you are not covered under a dental insurance plan, or if you are simply interested in saving money, consider joining the Capital Dental Design Membership Plan. Although we make every effort to keep our services affordable for all patients, joining our membership plan allows us to save you even more money by covering the cost of preventive care such as cleanings, exams, and routine x-rays. We also offer discounts of 10-15% on other dental services offered at our clinic. To learn more about our membership plan, payment options, or anticipated costs, contact our office.

If you have not joined us as a patient yet and/or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today online or call us directly at (804) 320-8894.