What is gum disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is an ongoing infection in the gums, which may result in significant damage to the underlying jaw structures that support your teeth if not treated properly. It is also the primary cause of tooth loss among adult patients today. To treat the various stages of periodontal disease, Premier Periodontics offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatments, including scaling and root planing, perioscopy, antibiotics, laser gum surgery, and osseous surgery. If you need treatment for gum disease in Bellevue, WA, get in touch with our office to schedule a visit with our experienced periodontal specialists.
The Stages of Periodontal Disease
The stages of periodontal disease range from mild to advanced.
- Gingivitis: The first phase of gum disease is gingivitis and is caused by a buildup of plaque under and around the gumline. Without treatment, gingivitis can progress into the next phase, known as periodontitis.
- Periodontitis: At this stage, the condition damages the bone and fibers that support the tooth roots. Gum recession and bone loss occur. Periodontitis, or advanced periodontal disease, may cause tooth mobility and lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal Disease Reviews
"The office staff are very friendly. They are amazing and funny. They all laugh alot and make the place feel comfortable. Becca is such a huge help. And the doctor is so helpful and kind. However every staff are knowledgable and strive to make each person feel comfortable and at home."- C.V. / Google / Feb 17, 2020
"Karen was incredible! Her attention to detail and willingness to share insights regarding my concerns was extremely helpful."- T.K. / Google / Feb 27, 2020
"My dental hygienist and the team at Premier Periodontics are really great to work with. They always do a terrific job! I appreciate them. Thank you."- J.A. / Google / Feb 27, 2020
"Without Premier periodontists I would have severe gum disease stuff and now it’s gone they are awesome"- K.P. / Google / Jun 13, 2020
"I am a longtime patient of Premier Periodontics with my first visit in the 1980s with Dr Wil Fernyhough. Dr Fernyhough was on the forefront of treating periodontal disease. Yesterday, I had my first appointment with Dr Huynh-Ba, who is now my periodontist following the retirement of Dr Fernyhough. I am so fortunate to have Dr Ba as my new Periodontist and am confident he will take care of any dental issues in the years to come. The professional team approach continues at Premier Periodontics."- M.H. / Google / Apr 21, 2022
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by certain types of harmful oral bacteria. These bacteria live within plaque (a soft, sticky layer) and tartar (hardened plaque) on the teeth, and produce a toxin that causes the body to break down surrounding gum and bone tissue. If this is left untreated, periodontal pockets (deep spaces between the teeth and gums) begin to form, allowing for the accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria beneath the gumline. At this point, professional help is needed to remove this buildup and help stop the disease process.
What are Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
While you may notice signs of gum disease in your mouth, pain is typically not a symptom until advanced damage has occurred. Common symptoms of a periodontal infection include:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Sore, swollen, or red gums
- Gum recession
- Longer-looking teeth
- Loose teeth
- Deep pocketing around the teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Changes in the bite or teeth positioning
- Spaces between the teeth, near the gumline
- Tooth sensitivity (hot or cold temperatures)
It is also important to understand that your gums may look and feel normal, but periodontal disease could still be causing significant problems in your mouth. Undergoing routine gum disease screenings can help identify problems early on. Gum disease can also impact your general health and has been linked to a number of serious systemic medical conditions.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Periodontal disease treatments at Premier Periodontics will be determined by the severity of the disease. Treating is as early as possible can minimize oral damage and decrease your need for surgery, the risk of tooth loss, and the threat of other oral problems. For cases caught early, scaling and root planing (SRP) is typically performed to deep clean the gum pockets. Locally delivered antibiotics may also be placed in these areas to target harmful bacteria. Perioscopy may also be used alongside SRP to give our team a better view of the surfaces below the gumline. More advanced cases of periodontal disease are generally treated with a laser gum surgery approach.
What can I expect after gum disease treatment?
Depending upon the stage of gum disease and treatment program, your recovery time will vary. While you may require a few separate appointments at Premier Periodontics to completely treat your gum condition, we work efficiently and strive to minimize the number of visits for your care. After your periodontal treatment is complete, it is important to keep up with periodontal maintenance cleanings every 3 – 4 months as the oral bacteria that cause gum disease to grow rapidly beyond 90 days. We will collaborate closely with your general dentist and may alternate these visits between our practice and theirs. To manage your periodontal health between visits, we recommend that you stick to a very thorough oral hygiene routine at home. Our team can provide tips on the best methods and tools to use to help manage your gum condition.
Does Insurance Cover treatment for Periodontal Disease?
Insurance coverage for the treatment of periodontal disease in Bellevue, WA will depend upon the severity of the condition and procedures required to treat it. If you have dental insurance, our office will talk to your insurance company to determine your coverage amounts and estimate any personal costs. Premier Periodontics accepts an array of payment options and can help you find low-interest medical financing. Please talk to our team if you are concerned about costs. Avoiding periodontal care due to financial concerns can lead to bigger problems and more expensive treatments.
Periodontal Disease FAQ
Why do I need to see a periodontist?
Periodontists are specialists in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of periodontal disease. including gingivitis and periodontitis. When gum infection is present, there is a lower resistance to bacteria that contribute to periodontal disease. This can increase the risk of damage caused by this oral infection. Visiting a gum specialist for a periodontal problem is similar to visiting a cardiologist for a heart condition. When it comes to treating periodontal disease, Bellevue, WA patients and dentists alike often turn to the experts at Premier Periodontics.
What are the risk factors for gum disease?
The following factors can increase your risk for and the severity of periodontal disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dental plaque
- Genetic factors
Two other important factors are:
- Lack of regular dental checkups
- Lack of regular dental cleanings
When your infection has a burst of growth, or when there are signs that this may occur, your dentist may refer you to Premier Periodontics for periodontal treatment.
Does gum disease treatment hurt?
One of our primary concerns is that you have a comfortable experience during periodontal treatment. In addition to a gentle chairside approach, our periodontists offer several sedation dentistry options and may combine these with a local anesthetic to help keep you comfortable and at ease throughout your visit.
Do I need to start periodontal treatment right away?
Periodontal infection grows in bursts of activity. During these episodes, periodontal disease can cause significant damage to your gums and the underlying bone that helps hold your teeth in place. Delaying treatment could allow further damage to occur. If not treated, there can be a number of consequences for your oral and general health.
Improve Your periodontal health
Gum disease will continue to progress if you do not receive the proper therapy so it is necessary to get expert help when any signs occur. At Premier Periodontics, we work with you and your general dentist to improve your gum health and avoid future instances of active infection. To schedule an appointment with our skilled periodontists or to get help for periodontal disease in Bellevue, WA, contact our office today.
Here Are the Common Causes for Bleeding Gums
There are many causes of gum bleeding. That's why it's best to see a periodontist who specializes in assessing gum health.Read
What are the Risk Factors for Developing Gum Disease?
If you have the risk factors for developing gum disease, we encourage you to schedule an appointment for a full mouth evaluation.Read
How Can Tooth Decay Be Prevented or Reversed?
Learn how you can prevent, and possibly even reverse, tooth decay to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.Read
What is the Reason and Treatment for Bleeding Gums?
The most common reason for persistent bleeding gums is periodontal disease. Keep reading to learn more.Read