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1810 Bel Air Rd. Suite 201 Fallston, MD 21047

FAQ: All About Gum Disease

Bel Air DentistAt Harford County Dentistry, there is rarely a dental concern that we cannot treat in our Bel Air dentist office. Dr. Melissa Elliott, your local Fallston, MD dentist, is skilled in a wide range of dental services including general dentistry, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry solutions. One of the most common dental concerns that she treats in our office is gum disease. While it is a very common dental concern, many patients do not know what gum disease is, why it is caused, and how it is treated. Dr. Elliott answers frequently asked questions about gum disease below:

What is gingivitis?

If you’ve ever noticed a small amount of blood in the sink following brushing or flossing your teeth, you’ve likely experienced gingivitis. Gingivitis, also known as bleeding gums, occurs when food residue surrounding your soft tissues begins to irritate them, causing inflammation. Most cases of gingivitis can be reversed by making improvements to your at-home oral hygiene routine or by scheduling and attending your biannual dental cleanings.

What is gum disease?

If the food residue along your gum line remains there and is allowed to harden, it becomes what is known as plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar are very difficult to remove from your smile on your own and will require a visit to your local Bel Air dentist office to be properly removed. When the bacteria living inside of the plaque and tartar begins to eat away at your healthy soft tissues, this is what is known as gum disease. Advanced symptoms of gum disease include tender gums, discolored gums, bad breath, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.

How can I prevent gum disease?

To prevent gum disease, we recommend practicing a strict at-home oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Additionally, patients should rinse their mouths with water after eating midday meals when brushing and flossing are not as convenient. Chewing sugar-free gum throughout the day will help reduce the amount of food residue left behind on your dental structures. Most importantly, patients should attend their biannual dental cleanings so that our skilled hygienists can remove any plaque or tartar buildup before it has the chance to cause major dental concerns.

What are my treatment options for gum disease?

For patients with advanced cases of gum disease, Harford County Dentistry offers periodontal therapy. A procedure known as scaling and root planing may be performed to remove bacteria below or above the gum line. For more severe cases, oral surgery may be necessary to fully restore your smile. The only way to know which treatment option will best meet your needs is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Harford County Dentistry is now welcoming new patients from Bel Air, Fallston, surrounding areas. Please schedule an appointment online if you are in need of gum disease treatment options.