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Montgomery County Office
903 Russell Ave. Suite #300
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Washington, DC Office
1350 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite #305
Washington, DC 20036

Oral Health Specialists in Montgomery County, MD, and Washington, DC


What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a highly common infection of the periodontal tissues (gums and bone) that are responsible for supporting the teeth. These infections are caused by bacteria that grow on the teeth near the gum line due to poor brushing and flossing practices. Periodontal disease is known as gingivitis during its earliest stages, which is typically characterized by sore, swollen gums that may bleed easily. Allowed to progress, advanced periodontal disease may set in causing pain, receding gums and pockets between the gums and teeth. Known as periodontitis, this type of periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults – even more so than decay.
Dental Treatment - Periodontics in Gaithersburg and Washington DC

Did you know?

Periodontal disease has been associated with a number of risk factors aside from poor brushing and flossing habits. In fact, the risk of developing gingivitis or periodontitis increases if you have systemic disease like heart disease, as well as conditions like diabetes and AIDS. Other factors that may contribute to the development of periodontal disease include stress, genetics, crowded teeth, faulty dental restorations, and the use of certain medications that may cause dry mouth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are also at an increased risk for periodontal disease when they are undergoing hormonal changes, such as with menopause or pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have periodontal disease?

What will my Gaithersburg and Washington, DC periodontist do if I am diagnosed with periodontal disease?

Will I need to do anything to prevent periodontal disease from returning?


Causes of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is common among Gaithersburg and Washington, DC dental patients and is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. It develops as the result of an accumulation of harmful bacteria harbored in hardened plaque on the teeth both above and beneath the gum line. Plaque is usually brushed or flossed away; but plaque allowed to remain on the teeth for more than one to two days can harden into tartar. Only a Gaithersburg and Washington, DC professional dental cleaning can remove tartar, which can cause periodontal disease as long as it remains on the teeth. Over time, this disease can cause gum inflammation, bone deterioration, receding gum lines, and loose teeth.

Did you know?

In addition to poor brushing and flossing habits, several other factors can contribute to the development of gingivitis and periodontitis. They include:
  • Genetic predisposition to periodontal disease
  • Age
  • The use of medications that cause dry mouth
  • Defective or poorly fit dental appliances and restorations
  • Tobacco usage
  • Improper nutrition
  • Hormonal changes
  • Systemic diseases, such as heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Auto-immune diseases, such as AIDS

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have some of the risk factors of periodontal disease?

How will my periodontist treat gum disease in Gaithersburg and Washington, DC?

What should I expect following Gaithersburg and Washington, DC periodontal treatment?


How to Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren't following the American Dental Association's guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that Americans brushing their teeth a minimum of two times each day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath.
Dental Care - Periodontics in Gaithersburg and Washington DC

Did you know…

That the type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? The ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but these brushes can actually cause abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my brushing habits?

What should I expect if I begin brushing my teeth correct?

Is there anything else I need to do in addition to brushing properly?


How to Floss Your Teeth

Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. So what is the most effective means of flossing?
Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth.

Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a “C-shape” and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.

Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.

Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.

Don't forget to floss the backs of your molars!

Need some extra tips?

The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask your dentist for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I be flossing?

What types of results should I get from flossing?

Is there anything else I should be doing in addition to flossing?


Electric Brush versus Manual Brushes

Preventative dentistry is about more than just visiting your Gaithersburg and Washington, DC dentist twice yearly for an exam and thorough cleaning. In fact, the majority of your preventative care is done at-home as a part of your normal hygienic routine. Many Gaithersburg and Washington, DC residents use manual toothbrushes to remove debris and plaque from their teeth. However, electric brushes have become widely popular in recent years, leaving some to wonder whether one type is better than the other.
Electric Brushing - Periodontics in Gaithersburg and Washington DC

Did you know…

The American Dental Association does not lean toward one type of brush over the other? It does, however, acknowledge that people with upper body mobility restrictions may better benefit from an electric toothbrush instead of a manual brush. Regardless of which type you decide is right for you, the ADA recommends that all brushes be soft-bristled so as to avoid abrasions that can lead to decay and receding gum lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which toothbrush should I be using?

What types of results should I be getting from by toothbrush?

My electric toothbrush was expensive. Do I need to change it as often as a manual brush?


Bad Breath

Having bad breath in Gaithersburg and Washington, DC can be an embarrassing problem – especially if you are regularly face to face with other people. Known professionally as halitosis, bad breath plagues many Americans every day. Most cases of bad breath can be remedied by efficiently brushing the teeth. However, some types of bad breath are chronic or recurring, which may warrant a visit to the dentist.

Did you know…

That bad breath can be caused by something as simple as eating too much garlic, or that it could be a serious symptom of disease? Some of the most common causes of bad breath include dry mouth, certain medications, use of tobacco, poor dental hygiene, and oral infections. In rare cases, bad breath may be a sign of diseases like cancer or gastroesophageal reflux.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need treatment for my bad breath?

What should I expect my Gaithersburg and Washington, DC dentist to do about my bad breath?

Is there anything I can do to maintain better breath?


Dental Health and Your Diet

Your body works hard to convert the foods you eat into energy. You may not think twice about what you are eating – especially when it comes to grabbing an afternoon snack or sipping on a vanilla latte on your Gaithersburg and Washington, DC commute. But the food you put in your mouth affects more than just your waistline. The truth is, your diet has a direct effect on your overall dental health. Developing good eating habits can lead to excellent oral health free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar.
Healthy Smiles - Periodontics in Gaithersburg and Washington DC

Did you know…

That eating a slice of pie in the afternoon could be more dangerous to your oral health than eating the same piece of pie as a dessert after dinner? According to the ADA, snacking between meals – especially on sugar-filled foods – can more rapidly lead to decay than eating the same foods with meals. If you must eat the mid-afternoon pie, reach for the toothbrush afterward. Better yet, swap the pie for a nutritious, sugar-free snack like string cheese or some baby carrots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my eating habits to better my oral health?

What types of changes will my Gaithersburg and Washington, DC dentist recommend?

Are there any other habits I should be adopting to improve my oral health?