Alexandria periodontal care

Periodontal Care in Old Town, Alexandria

At some point in life, it's very possible that your gum health may benefit from a little extra TLC to get you back on track. Lifestyle factors, hormonal changes, stress, medical conditions, genetic factor, and many other issues can all impact your gum health.  We’re here to help you optimize your oral health.

Alexandria periodontal care

Do I really need periodontal care?

Perhaps you have noticed that your gums look a little more red than you're used to, or maybe they look puffy/inflamed and bleed when you brush. Maybe you have noticed that one or more teeth has started to feel a little loose. Or, perhaps, you have noticed or been told there is an odor coming from your mouth even though you have brushed your teeth. If any of these symptoms sound like what you have experienced, you may be in need of periodontal care. Periodontal health, also known as your gum health, is an integral part of your overall oral health and wellness, and inflammation in the gums often mirrors inflammation elsewhere in the body. 

Did you know that studies have shown there is a direct correlation between progression of periodontal disease and various systemic conditions? Your gum health doesn’t stop in the mouth; it affects the rest of your body! Periodontal disease has been linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease/pneumonia, as well as certain cancers including kidney, pancreatic, and blood-related cancers. Periodontal disease has also been linked significantly to birth complications, including preterm birth as well as low birth weight babies. Research is advancing in this area and reminds us all how important oral health is to our overall health! The mouth does not exist in a vacuum; it is a portal to the rest of the body and has a direct influence on our overall wellness. Reducing inflammation is one of the most important first steps to achieving true health. 

If you suspect or have been told by your dentist or hygienist that you may need periodontal care, time is of the essence for best results and recovery back to health. Periodontitis exists on a spectrum, and can have damaging, and sometimes permanent effects. In some severe cases, patients can even end up losing teeth prematurely and experience irreversible bone loss in the jaws. If you notice any symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to seek intervention as soon as possible. There are a range of treatments available that can help. Please see our services listed below; we are here to help you get back on track.

Did you know…

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When caught early, gingivitis can be treatable and reversible.

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Deep cleanings are necessary when the disease process has extended far enough under the gums that a standard cleaning will no longer suffice. This is determined based on specific gum measurements along with dental x-rays. Our deep cleaning process involves making sure you are as comfortable as possible with local anesthetic, followed by a process that removes tartar, debris, bacteria, and diseased gum tissue from deep under the gum surface. The process is completed with gentle laser therapy to further disinfect below the gum surface and encourage growth of new, healthier gum tissue. A lot of time is also spent on education to empower you to take control of your condition to set you up for success moving forward. This meticulous process helps to treat periodontal disease and also to help stabilize the condition from progressing in the future, when correct maintenance protocols are followed.


With advanced gum laser technology, we are able to offer gum disease treatment that is more comfortable than ever before. Gum laser therapy is a non-surgical treatment that effectively removes harmful bacteria from under the gums and promotes healthy tissue regeneration. Our gum laser can be used for a variety of concerns, including periodontal pocket disinfection after a deep cleaning, but also for the treatment of gum ulcers, including traumatic or aphthous ulcers, herpetic lesions, some cases of mucositis, and other select conditions.

Local Chemotherapeutics, including gumline antibiotics

While mechanical debridement (scaling and root planing) remains the gold standard of first-line defense in treating periodontal disease, sometimes, additional help is needed to disrupt the biofilm and reduce the bacterial load. We use a variety of chemotherapeutic agents to assist in your treatment when necessary, including local gumline antibiotics, prescription strength antimicrobial mouth rinses, pastes, and, in some severe cases, systemic antibiotics. These targeted treatments can greatly enhance the outcome of your periodontal therapy, effectively combating periodontal infections and aiding in the restoration of gum health. One of the most effective types of chemotherapeutic agents, Arestin, is a local gumline antibiotic that is applied directly to the infected gum pockets, delivering powerful  medication precisely where it is needed, to combat periodontal bacteria and infection. We have seen great results with this treatment.

Loose Tooth Treatment

As periodontal disease progresses, tooth looseness or mobility can become a significant concern. In its earliest stages, this may only be detectable by your dentist. In later stages, you may be able to feel your teeth "wiggle." This should be treated as soon as possible to prevent premature tooth loss. Our approach to treating loose teeth focuses on addressing the underlying periodontal as well as occlusal (bite) issues that are contributing to the instability, helping to reinforce and save your natural teeth. We offer various options to help stabilize loose teeth.

Full Mouth Bite Balancing

Bite balancing, also known as equilibration, is a process where a special tool is used to mark your existing "bite," or where your teeth naturally touch. From this, your teeth are selectively polished and slightly adjusted to reduce stress on the teeth and gums. For many people, their bite changes over time, and can create force distribution issues, thereby increasing the chances of tooth looseness as well as predisposing the teeth to cracks and premature wear. Bite balancing can be a very important step in the long-term stabilization of your periodontal and your tooth health, as well as your jaw comfort.

The Benefits of Periodontal Care

Restore Your Health

With early intervention, periodontal treatment can reverse the effects of gingivitis and restore your smile to its natural health.

Prevent Further Damage

Regular periodontal maintenance helps keep your smile healthy and free from the harmful buildup of plaque and bacteria.

Save Money

Periodontal care helps you avoid more costly, invasive procedures such as gum grafts, tooth extractions, and dental implants.

The Deep Cleaning Process

Local Anesthetic

Deep cleanings by definition "go deeper" than the standard tooth cleaning, as they are designed to remove tartar, debris, and bacteria from deep under the gums. Getting numb for this process ensures that you feel as comfortable as possible on your journey back to optimal gum health, and we take pride in our gentle numbing techniques. 

Scaling & Root Planing

Once you are comfortably numb and ready to begin, your hygienist will use special tools to remove, or "scale," tartar, plaque, and bacteria from between your teeth and below your gum line. The goal is to remove the harmful bacteria by disrupting the biofilm that causes gum disease. Then, once your teeth and gums have been  thoroughly cleaned, your hygienist will “plane,” or smooth, the roots of your teeth. This process can greatly reduce and even eliminate the pockets and pits that form below the roots of your teeth which harbor harmful bacteria. This is a necessary step to reducing periodontal disease, as health cannot be achieved in the presence of this bacteria.

LASER THERAPY AND LOCAL Antibiotic Treatment

After your deep cleaning, your hygienist will use a special gum laser to further disinfect the tissue around each tooth, while also removing any remaining diseased gum tissue. When necessary, a healing antibiotic treatment can also be placed in select sites that need extra healing power. Depending on your individual needs, you may receive an antibiotic rinse that you can use at home, or a prescription antibiotic that will be taken orally. In many cases, a special oral probiotic will be recommended to you to help you maintain your results for as long as possible. Your hygienist will also spend a considerable amount of time educating you on your follow-up routine and proper maintenance schedule, to help minimize the chance of reactivating the disease process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Check out these frequently asked questions, or call us to speak with our team.

What are the stages of gum disease?

Gum disease is commonly split into three different stages. The first stage is called gingivitis. In this stage, there is usually no permanent damage to your teeth or gums yet. This means your dentist, together with your commitment to improving your home care, will likely be able to reverse and eliminate this stage of gum disease with proper treatment. Common symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding when brushing, inflamed and discolored gums, and chronic bad breath.

If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to the second stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis. This stage of gum disease is unfortunately not reversible, but can be controlled with proper intervention. Symptoms of periodontitis usually include gum recession, increased sensitivity or sore teeth and gums, excessive gum bleeding, tooth looseness, chronic bad breath, and very swollen or puffy gums.

The final stage is advanced periodontitis. In this stage, permanent damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw bone occurs. Common symptoms include pus forming between the teeth and gums, shifting of the teeth, changes in your bite, and continued loosening of one or more teeth. Surgical intervention is usually necessary to treat advanced periodontitis. In very severe cases, your teeth may even need to be extracted and replaced with a dental prosthetic like dentures or dental implants.

Is gum disease contagious?

No, gum disease is not contagious. This is because it is caused by bacteria that are already present in all of our mouths. In a healthy mouth, these bacteria are not found in a high enough quantity to cause gum disease. These bacteria become an issue when they are left to reproduce and grow uncontrollably. Gum disease can occur when poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to reproduce at high levels, or when a patient is severely immuno-compromised, and also if a patient is genetically predisposed to gum disease.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by large quantities of bacteria flourishing in the mouth. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene, and can be exacerbated by certain medical conditions, including uncontrolled diabetes. Failing to brush and floss properly allows the bacteria that are present in your mouth to reproduce and form plaque and tartar between your teeth and your gums. Over time, these bacteria begin to attack and infect your gum tissue. Over time, this infection can result in permanent, irreversible damage to your oral health unless you seek out proper treatment. Gum disease can also potentially worsen certain medical conditions, and is an important part of achieving true bodily health.

Some patients are also genetically predisposed to developing gum disease. This is why it is important to discuss with your doctor if there is a history of gum disease in your family. You and your doctor will work together to employ the best at-home care and in-office treatments to protect against it.

Why do I need antibiotics?

Periodontal disease forms when there is prolonged inflammation in the gums. This inflammation can lead to infection caused by an abundance of ongoing, harmful oral bacteria. Your dentist may prescribe you antibiotics to help kill and control this harmful bacteria, helping to allow your gums to heal. If you are prescribed antibiotics to help control your periodontal disease, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions very closely to ensure the harmful bacteria is eradicated. If you fail to complete the full prescription of antibiotics, the bacteria could become resistant to subsequent treatments with the medication.

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