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Gum Disease

Our team of dental professionals is committed to providing you with the highest quality care to ensure your dental health.

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What is Gum Disease?

What is Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is a condition in which bacterial growth in your mouth causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating periodontal pockets that collect debris and become infected. The infection then damages the bone that supports your teeth.

The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, often appears as bad breath and swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss. At this stage, there might be little to no discomfort and you may not even realize anything is wrong.

If ignored, gingivitis progresses into more dangerous stages of gum disease that require advanced care from a dentist. Fortunately, gingivitis can easily be controlled.

What is Gum Disease?

Mild gingivitis can typically be reversed with good oral hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist.

But if ignored, gum disease can cause widespread damage to your mouth, including jawbone deterioration and tooth loss.

If left untreated, gum disease can even lead to other serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, seeking regular periodontal care is crucial for not only maintaining a healthy smile but also overall wellness.

If you’re in the Harrisonburg, VA, area, Smiles for Life Dental Care can provide you with treatment to improve the health of your gums.

Gum Disease Treatment

Knowing the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

You may not notice the symptoms of gum disease even as it progresses into the later stages. The signs can be subtle, and can occur in places that are hard for you to detect. This is why it’s so important to schedule regular checkups at a dental office. Though you may not notice any symptoms, they often include:

Known Symptoms Include:

We Can Treat Your Gum Disease

Once plaque hardens into tartar and spreads below the gumline, your will need professional attention to remove it from your teeth. If you have developed periodontitis, our dentists can provide you with treatment.

We can also provide you with preventive care in the form of regular checkup. By testing, we look for hidden oral health concerns, genetic markers associated with periodontitis, and even oral cancer. These dental screenings allow our dentists to identify signs of gingivitis and other health concerns and control them before they become a bigger issue.

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Treatment Options for Gum Disease

Are you struggling with gum disease? Don’t fret there are a variety of effective treatment options that can help restore your smile to its former glory!

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When taken during the earliest stages of periodontitis, antibiotics can sometimes be enough to resolve gum disease and restore your oral health. If necessary, an antibiotic can also be combined with other treatments performed by your hygienist. Antibiotics can either be taken in pill form or placed directly on the periodontal pockets as a gel.

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Antibacterial Irrigation

During scaling and root planing we use an antibacterial rinse to flush out harmful bacteria in periodontal pockets. This is a very safe and effective way to remove bacteria and toxins from beneath your gumline. You may be given this antibacterial rinse in your Waterpik at home during your periodontal treatment.

Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing

During a scaling and root planing procedure, your gums will be numbed with an anesthetic before your dentist uses a scaling device to gently remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria along the gumline and surface of the tooth. After scaling, the rough areas along the tooth roots are smoothed to prevent bacteria growth and to help loosened gums reattach to the teeth.

What Can Lead to Periodontal Disease?

Plaque buildup from poor oral hygiene habits is typically the cause of periodontal disease. However, other factors can contribute to the development of periodontal disease, including:

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Hormonal Changes

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Poor Home Care

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Certain Medications

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Certain Illnesses

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Smoking or Chewing Tobacco


of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
-According to the CDC

The Long-Term Dangers of Periodontal Disease

When bacteria builds up in periodontal pockets, it can make its way into your bloodstream and affect parts of your body other than your mouth. This can lead to dangerous long-term disorders. Aside from tooth and bone loss, you may experience:

Cardiovascular disease



Rheumatoid arthritis

Alzheimer’s disease


Rheumatoid arthritis

Prevent Gingivitis Before It Starts

With proper oral hygiene, You can prevent the development of gum disease when you practice a good oral hygiene routine. During the early stages of disease, gingivitis can usually be prevented from progressing into more serious cases of periodontitis. Simply minimizing plaque buildup can contribute to good overall oral health.

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Brushing Twice per Day

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Antibacterial Mouthwash

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Flossing Once per Day

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Limiting Sugar Intake

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Scheduling Regular Dental Checkups

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Avoiding Nicotine Products

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Meet The Team

Experience dental care backed by expert and compassionate dentists. Trust in the skill and empathy of our dental professionals.

Our Smiles for Life Patients Know

That They Can Rely On Us
Linda Clague

Alex, . Morgan, and Dr Geo are very personable and professional. I felt very relaxed the entire visit.I especially appreciated Dr. Geo's careful mouth and teeth exam. They explained everything step by step and allowed time for questions.


On my first visit I meet Becky, we sat down and talked about everything they do there and she allowed me to tell her about my issues with my teeth and she felt that they could help me with my problem. This is the first time I have ever been able to explain, in detail, about my past and present experiences with my dental problems. She made me feel very comfortable in taking about my care and what I would like to have done with my denture issue's. I have set up my next appointment to have x-rays done and feel very good about that! I'm looking forward to my visit and what they have to say about fixing my problem .

Dolly Kite

My dad had the appt there at the office for a broken tooth. They worked him in and made the experience as pleasant as possible for an 86 year old man. I appreciate the care, understanding and patience for him. Great visit! Great Doctor!!

beverly morris

I go to smiles for life I can't thank them enough for there kindness and caring I really like Dr Geo there all awesome but he's my favorite ♥️ they are all very friendly and make you feel very comfortable just like one big Happy family

Lynn Reedy

The best staff !! The most friendly staff of any dentist office I have ever been too. Dr Geo is the best. Super friendly. Recommend this dentist office to any one especially if you have a fear of dentist (as I myself ).

Warren Wise

Just had my first visit with Dr. Whiting at Smiles for Life in Bridgewater. My welcome to the office was warm and inviting. The dental assistant was professional, proficient, and very gentle. Dr.Whiting is very good at explaining problems he saw with my teeth and outline options for addressing those problems.

Jennifer Harper

Cathy Batton is an amazing hygienist and is so gentle but very thorough. She is very kind, and I am always happy to see her when I go to the dentist! She makes going to the dentist more fun!

Sandy Miller

I love Cathy!! She does a great job and is always very personable and professional. Give her a raise!! 😊 Everyone at Smiles for Life is great! If you’re looking for a dentist, I would highly recommend them.

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