Periodontal Therapy in Kirkland, WA

woman putting toothpaste on toothbrush | Periodontal Treatment in Kirkland WA | Dr. Jen Kim

When people think of dental care, they tend to focus on teeth and forget about the fundamental structures that hold those teeth in place – their gums!

Periodontal care for your gums is just as crucial for excellent oral health as other treatments designed for teeth. Healthy gums protect your teeth from bacteria that can attack them beneath the gum line and also provide a secure support system.

Due to advancements in dental technology and knowledge, along with a better understanding of gum disease, we can considerably decrease the rates of infection among our Kirkland patients. Still, gum disease remains a widespread problem, with more than half of adult Americans suffering from periodontitis.

If you are one of them, we can help treat you. Even better, we can prevent you from getting gum disease in the first place.

The Importance of Gum Health

Good teeth are only as healthy as their foundation. Unhealthy gums can impact your oral and general health; you can compromise multiple systems if gum disease is allowed to advance. Every year we see new studies that confirm the relationship between compromised gums and your overall health and well-being.

It has long been established that gum disease can directly correlate with heart disease, respiratory disorders, strokes, diabetes, and more.

The good news is that gum disease can be managed, especially in the early stages. Patients can take steps to counteract this and other diseases with routine dental check-ups at Dr. Jen Kim, DDS. Preventive dental cleanings and exams allow us to identify any dental health abnormalities as soon as they start, which can save patients time, energy, money, and even possible dental emergencies.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects your gums, creating swollen, red, inflamed, and bloody gums that are sensitive to brushing and flossing. The beginning stages are what we commonly call gingivitis, a condition that can be reversible with supervision from a dental professional. Gingivitis, like many oral health disorders, may not necessarily have obvious symptoms.

Many times, only your Kirkland preventive dentist can truly diagnose and catch gum disease. We screen our patients for gingivitis at each dental check-up so that the condition does not have the opportunity to wreak havoc.

Advanced gum disease is known as periodontitis. Typically, gums form loose pockets around your teeth that are hotspots for harmful bacteria and debris. When these pockets are not treated or cleaned, they quickly become infected and expose your bone and tissues to infection—ultimately resulting in tooth loss if not treated in time.

Preventing Gum Disease

Most gum disease scenarios can be easily prevented by following good oral hygiene and maintaining healthy dental habits. At Jen Kim: Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we recommend following these five simple steps to avoid gum disease.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes, especially before going to bed. Electric toothbrushes can help patients clear their teeth of plaque and brush for the recommended two minutes
  • Floss your teeth daily, preferably after dinner
  • Maintain routine dental check-ups with Dr. Kim so we can clean and examine your teeth
  • Your diet goes a long way in keeping your gums and immune system strong: invest in fruits and veggies! A diet high in sugar creates an environment where bad bacteria love to thrive. Fruits and vegetables can actually protect your teeth and increase saliva flow
  • Improving your diet by increasing your intake of fruits and veggies not only protects your overall health, but it also protects your teeth!
  • Smoking increases your risk of getting gum disease; we are happy to talk to you about quitting

Understanding the risk factors for developing gum disease is part of the prevention process, other risks include:

  • Tobacco products—Smoking is known as the number one risk for developing gum disease; it also impacts your immune system and makes treatment harder
  • Oral health—Keeping your teeth and gums clean is part of your at-home prevention to avoid tooth decay, infection, disease, and more. Not brushing and flossing daily allows plaque and tartar to build-up, which can allow bacteria to eat away at your enamel or attack your teeth from below the gumline
  • Diabetes—The link between gum disease and diabetes goes both ways, people with one are more at risk of developing the other
  • Genetics—Some patients are more susceptible to health problems like gum disease
  • Medications—Some medications create dry mouth, a condition that can increase your likelihood of developing gum disease

By being aware that you might be at higher risk for developing an oral health problem, you can monitor your teeth and gums for even the smallest changes. If you have noticed that your gums are swollen, red, bloody, sensitive, or you have bad breath that won't go away, call your Kirkland dentist Dr. Kim right away.

Detecting Gum Disease

Gum disease may not show any symptoms in the beginning, which means that patients can have it and not know it. Typically, symptoms like red gums increased sensitivity and tenderness, and bleeding after brushing should never be ignored. If you find yourself noticing one or more of these signs of gingivitis, call Dr. Kim's dental office today for a gum disease evaluation.

During the earliest stages of gum disease, we can battle through with daily brushing, flossing, and medicated mouth wash. If left untreated, patients might start to notice ongoing gum pain, "longer" teeth due to receding gums, and even loose teeth.

Patients often see an impact on their gums that comes from infection. It's highly essential to get treatment through Dr. Kim to avoid an impact on your bones, tissues, and possible tooth loss.

Treating Gum Disease

At Jen Kim: Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we have the skills and knowledge to heal or manage gum infection, even beyond the beginning stages of gingivitis. We may utilize one or more of the following dental procedures to treat gum disease: man getting periodontal treatment | Periodontal Therapy in Kirkland WA | Dr. Jen Kim

  • Deep cleaning: We clean your teeth and gums of plaque and tartar. Root scaling and planing can treat gum disease before it advances to periodontitis. Your preventive dentist can clean underneath the gum line and get rid of any harmful bacteria or infection 
  • Antibiotic treatment: After we have gotten rid of bacteria and infection, we may place antibiotics into the gum pockets to continue fighting the infection. Dr. Kim may also recommend oral antibiotics to help patients fight the disease
  • Laser therapy: By using advanced dental equipment, we are able to target and clear decayed tissue while fighting the infection. Laser treatments can also impact your roots to prevent bacteria from forming beneath your gums and destroying the bone

Contact Us for Gum Disease Treatment

Contact us today to schedule a gum disease evaluation with Dr. Jen Kim in Kirkland, WA. Your restorative dentist can thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and design a smile treatment plan to treat and cure your gum disease. At our dental office, we regularly implement oral health treatments that keep your teeth and gums clean and free of infection. If it's been a while since your last dental cleaning, don't feel embarrassed.

Our compassionate dental staff knows how easy it can be to put off necessary dentistry—don't wait until it becomes a dental emergency! We are here to restore your oral health and keep you pain-free.