Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is very serious and could cause you to suffer tooth loss if not properly treated by your periodontist. Some people experience bleeding, puffy or painful gums as their primary symptoms. However, some people do not experience symptoms of periodontal disease and they may not even know that they have it.

If you believe you may have symptoms of periodontal disease, we encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Joseph Haynes as soon as possible.

Read more about periodontal disease and treatment in the pages below:
•  What is a Periodontist?
•  What is Gum Disease?
•  Treatments and Procedures
Tap the links below to read more about periodontal disease. (Tap again to close.)

► What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that destroy the gum and other structures that support the teeth. Additionally, they are experts in the placement of dental implants and treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists must complete three additional years of training (known as "residency") after graduating from dental school. Their advanced education, combined with continuing education after residency, ensures that they are constantly at forefront of diagnosing and treating periodontal disease.

Periodontists often treat patients with more problematic dental issues, such as those with severe gum disease or complex medical issues that affect how dental care is provided. There are many treatments provided by periodontists, such as scaling and root planing (cleaning of an infected surface), or root surface debridement (the removal of damaged tissue). Periodontists are the experts in their field at using a range of surgical approaches to treating severe gum problems. They are also specifically trained to place, maintain and repair dental implants.

During the first appointment, the periodontist thoroughly reviews not only the patient's dental history, but also their medical history. It is extremely important that any dental or medical provider is aware of any medications being taken by a patient, as well as conditions or diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or pregnancy.

The periodontist will examine the gums in order to assess if the gum line is receding, assess how the teeth fit together when biting, and for any loose teeth. The periodontist will also measure the depth between the teeth and gums, known as periodontal pockets; this helps assessing the health of the gums. X-rays or other imaging may be taken to visualize the health of the bone below the gum line.

► What is Gum Disease?
Also referred to as periodontal disease or periodontitis, gum disease is caused by bacteria forming on our teeth. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Diseases of the gum are often painless, so without regular dental care, you might not know you have it.

Warning Signs

Diagram of a healthy tooth and gums compared to a tooth and gums with periodontitis.
•  Gums that bleed easily
•  Red, swollen, tender gums
•  Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
•  Persistent bad breath or bad taste
•  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

It is important to contact Auburn Periodontics & Implantology if you are concerned you have gum disease because the earlier and issues are identified, the sooner Dr. Haynes and you can begin working toward a solution.

The Early Stage of Gum Disease Is Called Gingivitis

If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is typically still reversible and is usually eliminated by professional dental cleanings and daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced Gum Disease Is Called Periodontitis

Chronic periodontitis is severe and progressive if not addressed. It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse progressively, but many patients experience periods of rapid progression.

Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone, and may occur in localized areas or in the entire mouth. Periodontal disease cannot be cured, however, we have measures to help slow or stop the progression.

Research between periodontal diseases and diseases of the body is constantly ongoing. Some studies suggest that severe gum disease may be associated with other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.

Regular dental care and examinations are very important. The treatment approaches that Dr. Haynes might recommend will depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Your care will also be personalized at Auburn Periodontics & Implantology.

► Treatments and Procedures
Despite the dramatic negative health risks that are linked to gum disease, people who have it often go undiagnosed. Current research suggests a link between periodontal disease with premature birth, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. We at Auburn Periodontics & Implantology believe your whole health is important, so it is most definitely a condition we take seriously and treat immediately. Depending on the severity of the disease, there are different types of treatments that Dr. Haynes recommends.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a special type of treatment that goes deeper below the gum line to remove contaminated debris and bacteria, most often performed on patients with active periodontal disease.

A professional polishing, or prophy, removes only the soft sticky plaque and hard crusty calculus that is above the gum line on the crown of the tooth. Scaling and root planing is done to remove soft sticky plaque and hard crusty calculus that is loaded with bacteria, around and below the gum line on root surfaces. It is a method of treating gum disease when pockets formed around the teeth have a measurement of greater than 3mm and there is evidence of bleeding and tissue attachment loss.





Scaling

Scaling is a procedure that meticulously removes contaminated biofilm, plaque, calculus, microorganisms and toxins from around the gum line down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket, in order to obtain a healing response.

Root Planing

Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth with thin instruments so gum tissue can more firmly reattach to roots that are clean and smooth, to prevent tooth loss and sensitivity problems. This procedure makes it more difficult for plaque, calculus and bacteria to accumulate along these root surfaces.

Because this procedure goes deeper than a regular cleaning, your mouth may be numbed. The cleaning may take one to six visits to complete. Depending on the extent of the disease, you may need one or more quadrants of the mouth to be treated with scaling and root planing.






Joseph Haynes
Periodontist
925 East Main Street
Auburn, WA 98002




(253) 275-0413
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