Periodontal Disease & Treatment in Spokane Valley

Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. The earliest and simplest forms of the disease cause gum inflammation; the later and more advanced forms of the disease can seriously damage the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. At its worst, gum disease can cause the teeth to fall out. Research also shows a link between oral health and overall health; studies suggest that people with gum disease are more likely to develop additional, sometimes life-threatening, diseases.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease occurs when plaque forms on the teeth due to the buildup of bacteria and a lack of brushing and flossing. With enough buildup, the plaque can spread below the gumline, where it cannot be removed with a toothbrush. The longer it remains there, the more bacteria multiplies and causes the gums to become inflamed. Eventually, serious gum inflammation causes the gums to detach from the teeth, forming spaces or “pockets” between the teeth and gums. Bacteria continues to multiply in these pockets and destroy the gums. In the worst cases of periodontal disease, the alveolar bone — the one that supports the teeth — starts to waste away. Without the support of the alveolar bone, the teeth become loose and fall out.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Symptoms of gum disease include:
  • Swollen or red gum tissue
  • Tender or bleeding gum tissue
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Visible tartar buildup
  • Gum recession or teeth that appear longer in comparison to gum tissue
  • Tooth mobility
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should have Dr. Love examine your teeth and gums. If you have spaces or pockets between your teeth and gums, he may use a small probe to measure them and determine the extent of your gum disease. X-rays may also be taken to determine whether there is any bone loss. Treatment of Periodontal Disease Periodontal therapy helps patients control the gum infection and limit its effect on the health of the teeth and gums so that more bone loss does not occur. Most therapies begin with a deep cleaning. This is also known as scaling and root planing, and it involves removing plaque and tartar from deep pockets under the gum lines. Otherwise, these bacteria will cause further infection and tissue detachment from the teeth. After initial therapy, most patients require periodontal maintenance therapies every three to four months until their symptoms are completely reversed. In addition to therapeutic services, we can also place a locally delivered antibiotic agent into areas of severe infection. This increases the success of treatment in areas with advanced stages of gum disease. Serious cases of gum disease may require surgical treatment to remove tartar deposits and reduce gum pockets so the area is easier to clean. If there is bone or gum tissue loss, the dentist can place grafts to promote growth and regeneration.

Contact Dr. Ryan Love

For more information about gum disease and how we treat it, please call (509) 928-2525 or email our practice today.