Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease

Proudly serving Reston, Potomac Falls, Herndon, and Oak Hill


To find periodontal disease, we perform a thorough examination with a periodontal probe and x-rays. Periodontal probing measures the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. When you have periodontal disease, these spaces are called pockets. We measure the pocket from the bottom of the pocket, where it’s attached to the tooth, to the top of the gums. A probe reading of more than three millimeters is a sign of periodontal disease.

Gums sometimes bleed during probing. This is also a sign of infection.

X-rays tell us a lot about periodontal disease. As periodontal disease progresses, x-rays will show that jawbone levels have become uneven, and that bone has receded away from the necks of the teeth.

Once we’ve found periodontal disease, we’ll talk with you about treatment options and proper homecare to minimize bone loss and restore the health of your gums.


To keep you comfortable we usually numb the area before root planning begins.

Using specialized instruments, we carefully and meticulously remove the plaque and tartar around and beneath the gumline, and then smooth the root surfaces. This removes the source of infection and helps your gums heal. As they heal, your gums will tighten around your teeth.

We may schedule scaling and root planning over several appointments. This way we can promote your comfort, check the healing, and help you fine-tune your homecare efforts.


As Part of our therapy for periodontal disease, we have an effective treatment called Arestin that helps us control the infection in your mouth.


Arestin is used together with scaling and root planning to significantly reduce the depth of the infected pockets and prevent the progression of the disease.

Arestin is an antibiotic in powder form. After scaling and root planning, we apply the powder to your periodontal pockets, where it combines with moisture in your mouth and adheres immediately to the infected gum tissue.

The individual powder particles release a controlled, steady flow of the active ingredient, minocycline, a potent antibiotic. The medication helps fight your periodontal infection for at least 21 days.


In certain conditions, Arestin may not be the right treatment for you. The active ingredient in Arestin is in the tetracycline family, so we won’t use it for patients who are allergic to tetracycline, pregnant or nursing, or under the age of eight.

You should also know that Arestin is not a cure for periodontal disease. Once bone is lost, no medication will bring it back. For periodontal therapy to be successful, you’ll still need to be very thorough with your daily oral hygiene and come see us regularly for exams.

Arestin is an important part of the overall periodontal therapy program that we have designed for you to restore health to your gums.

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