Gum Disease

Michael J. Urban, DDS -  - General and Cosmetic Dentistry

Michael J. Urban, DDS

General and Cosmetic Dentistry located in Gaithersburg, MD

Nearly half of American adults suffer from mild, moderate or severe gum disease. At his practice in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Michael J. Urban, DDS, diagnoses and treats this troublesome condition with both conservative and more involved procedures. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease, which can lead to bone loss or tooth loss if it progresses without professional intervention. If you notice bleeding, tender, or receding gums, call the office or use the online booking tool today.

Gum Disease Q & A

What is gum disease?

Gum disease refers to an infection or severe inflammation of the bone that holds your teeth in place. In most cases, gum disease leads to a variety of troublesome, if not painful symptoms, such as:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Heightened tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth

If left untreated, gum disease can gradually worsen and lead to eventual tooth loss. When you notice clear signs of gum disease, it’s best to come in and see Dr. Urban for help on how to reverse the effects and curb the progression of gum disease.

It’s very important to treat gum disease, especially early on, since it’s linked to an increased risk of serious health concerns, including heart disease and stroke.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is typically caused by poor oral hygiene habits, namely lackluster brushing and flossing. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, harmful bacteria from the food you eat can accumulate in pockets and on the surfaces of your teeth. Eventually, it can form into a sticky, colorless plaque. When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar that even your best brushing and flossing efforts can’t get rid of.

Besides poor oral hygiene, there are also a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of getting gum disease, including smoking tobacco, diabetes, medications that decrease your flow of saliva, and genetic factors.

How is gum disease treated?

Gum disease is typically treated conservatively with a procedure called scaling and root planing. The goal of scaling and root planing is to remove any tartar and reverse the progression of gum disease gradually.

This deep cleaning involves two parts. During the scaling portion, Dr. Urban and his team use special dental instruments to carefully remove all the plaque and tartar on either side of your gum line. He makes sure to deep clean each pocket.

After scaling, he performs root planing — the smoothing out of your teeth roots. This helps facilitate the reattaching of your teeth to the surrounding gums. In some cases, you may need more than one appointment for scaling and root planing. It often involves the use of a topical anesthetic to minimize any discomfort.

Are there ways to prevent gum disease?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to develop good oral hygiene habits at home and to maintain regular cleanings with the dental professionals at Dr. Urban’s office. If you’re diligent about brushing and flossing, that goes a long way towards avoiding plaque and tartar build-ups in your mouth.

If you’ve noticed signs of gum disease or simply want to find out more about preventive care or treatment, call or use the online booking tool today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Urban.