gum disease


Periodontal Care in Tukwila, WA

Gum Disease - Periodontal Disease

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Gum disease is usually painless, so it's easy for you to not know you have it.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria grow between your teeth, and teeth & gums while creating toxins that damage the gum tissues.

Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line, in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and supporting tissues to break down. When tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that gets deeper as the severity of the disease progresses.

Research has proven that infection from periodontal disease can also create an inflammation response that can affect disease in other parts of your body.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

80% of Americans Suffer from Gum Disease

Because it is usually painless, it is possible for you to have periodontal disease while not noticing warning signs.

Untreated periodontal disease is shown to be a major negative factor in the condition of your overall health .

Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis (early stage) and periodontitis (later stage).

During a regular checkup we measure the depth of the shallow v-shaped crevice (sulcus) between your teeth and gums as we examine to identify whether you have signs of gum disease.

That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.

gum disease stages


The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.

The gums are inflamed & have become red and swollen. They are also prone to bleed easily.

At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by good oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing.


The more advanced stages of gum disease is called periodontitis.

The gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged.

Healthy gums and bone anchor teeth firmly in place, infected gums can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

Infected gums can also trigger a chronic inflammation response from your body that can result in disease in other parts of your body.


Risk Factors

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • System-wide diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy

Warning Signs

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Pus between your teeth & gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Treatment methods depend on the type of disease, and how far the condition has progressed.

Recent advances now offer non-invasive treatment options.

Controlling Periodontal Disease

Good oral hygiene at home is essential to keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.

Things You Can Do For Good Oral Hygiene

  • Brush regularly
  • Clean between your teeth
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Schedule regular dental checkups for a lifetime of healthy smiles

You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease!

Periodontal Therapy Bible

What Constitutes Periodontal Disease

Inflammation & Bleeding represent the body's reaction to a bacterial infection by periopathogens, yeast or an autoimmune disease. Bleeding & Inflammation puts your body in a state that is Not Healthy.

Radiographic evidence of bone loss is positive for Periodontal Disease. Areas with vertical defects, large horizontal bone loss, or tremendous recession is Periodontal Disease.

When Periodontal Therapy (PT) is Prescribed - It Must be Treated as an Infection

Proper treatment is critical, as one area of infection can affect all parts of the mouth & body if left untreated.

  • Saliva Tests for Periodontal Pathogens are important.
  • Saliva Tests for Yeast Infection may be necessary.
  • Pre-diabetes, Diabetes, Smoking amp; Xerostomia must be evaluated.
  • SRP represents the physical removal of bacteria.
  • Laser represents the disinfection of bacteria in the tissue of the sulcus.
  • Air polishing represents “sand blasting” the thin layer of plaque bacteria on the tooth surface and threads of implants.
  • Implants CANNOT be effectively cleaned without air polishing.
  • RX for systemic antibiotic is important because: Bacteria are released by SRP into the saliva & bloodstream.
  • Please note that leaving untreated PT allows the Pathogenic colonies to continuously release bacteria into other parts of the body. This is Not Healthy.
  • Bacteria can recolonize in new parts of the mouth and body!
  • Periodontal Treatment is considered a Whole Mouth Disinfection in this practice. Insurance & patient comfort are the only reasons to delay between quadrants of treatment. This is Not Doctor Recommended.
  • lPT Quadrants should be treated within days of each other. A two week delay is the maximum, and is a compromise to the effectiveness of treatment.
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