ADA Accessibility Information
Accessibility

A
A

A
Due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and current restrictions imposed by Governor Inslee and the State of Washington Department of Health, our office will be temporarily closed for all but emergency dental care. This closure is expected to last until May 18th, at which time we expect to resume regular business hours and all patient care. If you are experiencing a dental emergency requiring immediate attention, you may contact Dr. Kay at (206) 915-8020. Thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging time.

Periodontal Care



Diagram of periodontitis and health toothAlmost 65 million Americans over the age of 30 suffer from gum diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When left untreated, gum disease often results in tooth loss.

Fortunately, at Kevin Kay DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer many successful treatment options for advanced gum disease to prevent you from losing your teeth.

To determine whether you have periodontal disease and how severe it is, Dr. Kevin Kay and may perform the following steps:
•  Review Your Medical History: We will take a look at your medical conditions and the medications you take to identify the causes and contributing factors to the gum disease.
•  Oral Examination: We will then assess the condition of your mouth and check for the accumulation of calculus, swollen gums, and bleeding.
•  Measure the Pocket Depth: Gum pockets are the grooves between your gums and your teeth. When healthy, these pockets should be no deeper than 3 millimeters. We will measure the depth of your gum pockets by placing a dental probe in between your gums and tooth. Gum pockets with a depth of more than 6 millimeters cannot be cleaned easily.
•  Take X-rays: We may also take some x-rays to check the integrity of the bone density where deep pockets have been measured.

Signs of Gum Disease


Gum disease is associated with several problematic symptoms including swollen, irritated and bleeding gums; persistent bad breath caused by bacteria and accumulation of pus; gaps between teeth and loose teeth because of the loss of the surrounding bone structure; and receding gums due to deep gum pockets.

Periodontal Care and Treatment


The goal of periodontal treatment is to clean the pockets in the gum, get rid of bacteria and infection, and prevent further damage to the gum and bone tissue.

If gum disease is not advanced, treatment may be less-invasive and non-surgical:
•  Scaling: Scaling involves the removal of the hard calculus from the surface of your teeth. We use an ultrasonic device and fine-tipped instruments called scalers to dislodge the bacteria and tartar from your teeth individually.
•  Root planing: This process involves smoothing the root surface so that bacteria and plaque are not able to adhere to the tooth surface again. It also gets rid of bacterial byproducts that promote inflammation and delay healing.
•  Antibiotics: Oral and topical antibiotics can help fight off bacterial infections. These include antibacterial mouth rinses and applying a gel inside gum pockets or in between the space between the gum tissue and teeth. Oral antibiotics will help in completely eradicating the infectious bacteria.

However, if periodontal disease has advanced to the point that there is significant damage to gum and bone tissue, surgical intervention may be needed. Some commonly performed procedures include:
•  Pocket Reduction Surgery: Also known as flap surgery, this involves making an incision in the gum tissue and pulling back a flap of the soft tissue to expose the roots. Since periodontitis causes bone loss, the underlying bone may need to be reshaped before the gum flap is stitched back into place. Once the infection is gone, your gums should heal quickly.
•  Gum Grafts: Exposed tooth roots need to be covered with gum grafts. The graft can be taken from your palate, your gums where there is excess tissue or other sources, and attached to the tooth root. This will protect the sensitive root from infection, decay, and further bone loss.
•  Bone Grafting: This is required when the gum disease destroys the surrounding bone structure of your tooth. The grafting material may be made from fragments of your bone or animal bone, or made synthetically in a lab. The bone graft will help bone tissue regeneration and stabilize the tooth.

People who have had treatment of periodontal disease may have to visit us every two to four months, depending on the severity of the condition. You will also be counseled on your eating and lifestyle habits like consuming less sugar and alcohol and avoiding smoking, as it interferes with the healing.

If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call us today at (425) 738-8476 to schedule an appointment.