Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a common condition that threatens your oral health, the general state of wellness, and quality of life. The good news is gum disease can be prevented. And its effects can even be reversed when treated effectively early into the disease process.
Along with the Kingsgate Dental Clinic team in Kirkland, WA, Dr. Ann Kelley educates patients about the risks of gum disease. We also pinpoint unique risk factors and discuss specific techniques and products to address those risks. Gingivitis, or early-stage inflammation, may be asymptomatic. So, it is important to maintain regular check-ups and cleanings at our office. We can detect early signs of gum disease that may be subtle or “silent.” Modifications to oral hygiene can resolve gingivitis. A “deep clean,” or scaling and root planing, may be recommended to resolve more extensive gum disease.
It is important to understand that gum disease won’t get better without treatment. It continues to progress. Missing even one professional cleaning can cause irreversible damage to the gums that attach to and support your teeth. Eventually, teeth may become loose and require extraction.
Much of the guidance that we provide during recall appointments have to do with controlling harmful bacteria. Oral bacteria thrive off of the starches and sugars in foods and drinks. They live in the plaque that constantly forms in your mouth. If sticky bacterial plaque is not removed with consistent brushing and flossing, it builds up. This plaque may harden to become stubborn tartar or calculus. Only a dental professional, such as our dentist and hygienists, have the specialized instruments designed to remove tartar. Additionally, our dental care team is trained in removing tartar in a safe and precise manner.
We will also use instruments to measure the depth of the spaces between the teeth and gums during your cleanings. These pockets grow larger as periodontal disease progresses. Eventually, gum disease erodes the soft and hard tissues. Pocket depth helps to inform our understanding of the extent of disease present in your mouth, which further informs our approaches to treatment.
Minor inflammation may be resolved with changes to recommendations on how to brush and floss more effectively. We may also integrate specialized products, such as rinses and interdental brushes, into your oral care routine. More advanced disease may be resolved with professional cleaning, scaling and root planing, and other techniques that eradicate harmful bacteria and promote healthy attachment between the gums and teeth.
Do not wait for symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding or tenderness, to arise. This condition is not only a leading cause of tooth loss, but associated bacteria and inflammation are also linked to serious medical problems like cardiovascular disease - call (425) 385-0080 to schedule your appointment.