Did you know that periodontal (gum) disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in American adults? Not only that, this condition can contribute to several non-dental related health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and dementia. Studies have found that the same bacteria that cause gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and impact these other health concerns and vice versa.
With these facts in mind, you can see why protecting your dental health has never been more critical. Here's what you should know about periodontal disease in Kirkland.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease is tricky to diagnose on your own because there are very few signs or symptoms to begin with. Believe it or not, even though gum disease affects nearly half of adults in some form, roughly half of those adults don't even realize they have it! This is why routine preventive checkups and cleanings with your dentist are so important for protecting both your dental health and overall health and well-being.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, you might start to notice bleeding when you're brushing and flossing your teeth. Your gums may also appear red and swollen. Chronic bad breath that you can't get rid of is another sign of gum disease in Kirkland.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. At this point, your teeth may begin feeling mobile, and your gums are starting to recede. You might also feel tenderness or discomfort as you're biting or chewing food.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Depending on which type of gum disease you're dealing with, your dentist in Kirkland may recommend a few different kinds of treatment.
You may be able to successfully control gingivitis with a thorough professional cleaning and some upgrades and improvements to your home care routine. For many people, this is even enough to reverse their condition.
Advanced gum disease requires periodontal therapy to treat it. This includes a deep cleaning known as root planing that removes plaque and bacteria from below the gum line. It could also involve antibiotics to combat your infection or surgery for severe cases.
To learn more about gum disease and periodontal therapy in Kirkland, contact Dr. Jen Kim and her team today at (425) 284-4450.