Gum Disease Seattle, WA
Gingivitis is a condition in which the gum tissue is chronically inflamed (red, puffy and bleeds easily) usually due to the presence of plaque on the teeth that is not adequately removed on a daily basis. Regular dental cleanings paired with improved homecare usually resolves this condition.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and if neglected will transition into a serious condition called Periodontal Disease.
Periodontal Disease: Deep Cleaning
Infection of the gum and bone surrounding the teeth is called Periodontal Disease. It often begins as chronically inflamed gum tissue (gingivitis) that bleeds during brushing. In the severe stages it can result in significant loss of bone support around the teeth causing them to become loose and potentially have to be pulled. It also can cause chronic bad breath. On an annual basis, we will screen for periodontal issues by taking gum measurements and x-rays, and comparing them to previous years to check for signs of periodontal breakdown.
For patients with periodontal disease, we recommend a deep cleaning followed by maintenance cleanings. A deep cleaning is different from a regular cleaning. In periodontal disease, the gums are inflamed and bone loss occurs. This results in “gum pockets” around teeth that can harbor bad bacteria that the disease to worsen. Your toothbrush and floss cannot reach these areas. For a deep cleaning, we not only clean the teeth but also these deep pockets. This takes time, skill, and special instruments. Once a deep cleaning has been completed, we will have the patient back for a re-evaluation to see if treatment was effective in stabilizing the disease. If so, patients will typically return every 3-4 months for maintenance cleanings to prevent further pocketing and bone loss.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for periodontal disease, and there is no way to reverse the damage done by this condition. Prudent adherence to a periodontal maintenance plan can slow and in some cases halt the progression of the disease.
Are you concerned that you have periodontal disease? The most common risk factors associated with the disease include: family history, smoking, and type II diabetes
Once gum disease has progressed to periodontal disease it can be an uphill battle to fight. It is therefore important that you come in to see us twice a year so that we can identify the early stages of gum disease while it’s still reversible.
Learn more about our periodontal treatments:
Please call our office today at (206) 204-9623 to schedule your appointment. We are serious about your continued oral health and look forward to seeing your smile!