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Dentist in Reston VA

Dentist in Reston VA | Would it surprise you to learn that almost half of all adults have moderate-to-severe gum disease? From its early form called gingivitis to the more advanced stage of periodontitis, gum disease is one of the most common types of diseases, yet many people do not even know that they have it.

Let’s take a closer look at gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease. Learn how it starts, progresses, and the health dangers associated with it. Be sure to contact our dentist in Reston VA to for consultation.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones supporting the teeth. It develops when bacteria infects the soft gum tissue surrounding your teeth, leading to symptoms like swelling, redness and bleeding.

Gum disease leads to a variety of oral problems, and has been associated with other types of health problems. For this reason, maintaining your visits with our dentist in Reston VA is essential.

Gum disease occurs in two different stages. Here are the differences between them:

Gingivitis

This is an early form of gum disease involving the inflammation of the gums due to the buildup of plaque, a sticky film found on the teeth. Plaque hardens into a substance called tartar. Once it reaches this stage, it is very difficult to remove. The plaque found on your teeth can eventually grow and affect your gums, leading to swelling, redness and bleeding.

Periodontitis

Left untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. When it reaches this point, your gums will begin separating from your teeth and underlying bone, forming pockets. Symptoms of periodontitis include bleeding, swelling, teeth misalignment, pain during chewing, and tooth looseness. Sores may also form within the mouth, and you may notice sensitive teeth and persistent bad breath.

So the main oral danger of advanced gum disease is teeth that become loose and eventually fall out unless the patient seeks prompt treatment with a dentist in Reston VA.

Gum Disease: Additional Dangers

Even though not everyone suffering from heart disease has gum disease, and not all patients who have gum disease have heart disease, there does seem to be a link.

Although it has not yet been determined that gum disease is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, some theories are developing as to how the two conditions may be connected.

A growing consensus is that inflammation connects the two conditions. This is a protective mechanism of the body that can damage tissues and organs when it is uncontrolled or chronic. It may be that gum inflammation triggers the dominoes that ultimately result in inflammation of the heart and cardiovascular system. The link may also be due to oral bacteria that travel systemically throughout the body and into the heart.

Cancer Risk

A 2008 study involving 48,375 men found a link between gum disease and cancer.

Researchers specualte that an enzyme produced by a type of oral bacteria is also commonly found in certain tumors affecting the gastrointestinal system. This enzyme assists bacteria in invading gum tissue and gum disease, as well as activating other enzymes that are carcinogenic.

Preventing Gum Disease

Other than brushing and flossing at home, the best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain dental exams and cleanings. Contact Reston Modern Dentistry to schedule a consultation with our dentist in Reston VA. New patients are welcome! Moreover, we accept many insurances.