Your guide to

Periodontal Disease

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Periodontal Disease – Hymas Family Dental is here to help

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the gums and bone around your teeth, begins when sticky bacteria, or plaque, and calcified plaque, or tartar, coats your teeth at and below your gum tissues. The bacteria triggers inflammation that leads to bone loss and pocket formation around your teeth. Unfortunately, you get this infection when your resistance to periodontal bacteria is low and disease susceptibility is high. This infection occurs in bursts of activity and becomes worse fairly quickly. If periodontal treatment, such as Scaling & Root Planing (SRP), is suggested, it is important to have the treatment done soon to remove the bacteria causing bone and soft tissue damage.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, often painless, may not be noticeable until the presence of advanced bone loss. Symptoms to be aware of include:
• Inflammation – tender or swollen gums
• Bleeding – when brushing or flossing
• Sensitivity – of teeth or gums
• Halitosis – Bad Breath

Consequences if Left Untreated

If untreated, some consequences can be:
• Teeth – become loose or are lost
• Dental Work- teeth replacement (bridges, implants, dentures)
• Worsening Symptoms – abscesses, pain
• Bacteremia – bacteria and inflammation enters your blood; associated with numerous medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease)

Who is Susceptible to Periodontal Disease?

Although periodontal disease is caused by bacteria leading to inflammation, several factors can increase the risk of development and the progression of this infection. These risk factors include:
• Poor oral hygiene
• Previous periodontal disease infections
• Deep probing depths: 4mm+
• Infrequent dental cleanings and exams
• Genetic predisposition
• Compromised immune system
• Smoking
• Uncontrolled diabetes

How is Periodontal Disease Detected?

At your dental appointments, the hygienist or doctor will look for symptoms of periodontal disease by evaluating:

•  Current x-rays for bone loss
•  Inflammation or bleeding
•  Probing depths around your teeth

Probing depths of 1-3 mm represent good oral health, while probing depths of 4+ mm often signify periodontal disease presence and bone loss. Larger probing depths mean more bone loss and deeper bacteria deposits.

The severity of the bone loss may necessitate a referral to a periodontist. Early to moderate periodontal disease infections can often be treated with scaling & root planning (SRP).

What is Scaling & Root Planning (SRP)?

Scaling removes the plaque and calculus with dental instruments or ultrasonic scalers. This “deep cleans” at and below the gum line.

Root Planning smooths and polishes the root surface after scaling so it is harder for future bacteria to attach and grow on the root. A smooth, disease-free root also helps your gums heal and attach back onto your teeth. This helps shrink your pockets and reduces the chance of reinfection.

Good oral hygiene is now crucial in preventing new bacteria deposits.

What to Expect After Treatment

You may feel transient gum tenderness and temperature sensitivity. (Cold sensitivity is common.) These issues should decrease over the first couple of days. Disinfecting mouth rinses, desensitizing agents, and mild pain relievers may be needed during healing. You can return home or to work right after your appointment.

With the removal of the bacteria you can expect:

• Healthier gums; firm and pink
• Tighter, more stable, teeth
• Little or no bleeding from gums
• Better breath

How is Your Treatment Response Evaluated?

Your dentist will usually evaluate your gums  4 to 6 weeks after treatment by checking the same parameters evaluated during the initial examination:

• The amount of plaque and tartar
• Inflammation
• Bleeding
• Overall oral hygiene

A less than ideal response may require a referral to a periodontist.

Do I Have to Do Treatment Now?

Gum infection tends to occur in bursts of activity and can quickly destroy the supporting bone. It is recommended to start scaling and root planning (SRP) treatment soon to prevent more bone loss.

How Much Will it Cost?

SRP costs less than many dental procedures and is usually partially covered by most dental insurances. The value of treatment is the retention of teeth and gum infection control.

Is Treatment Painful?

Prior to SRP, a numbing mouth rinse or anesthetic will be given to ensure there is no discomfort during the procedure. Bacteria removal deep in the pockets will cause discomfort.

Who Does Scaling and Root Planning?

SRP is typically performed by a trained hygienist or a periodontist. The more severe the disease, the more likely you will be referred to a periodontist.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a specialist dentist educated to diagnose and treat gum disease with non-surgical and surgical treatment modalities, including bone regeneration and laser-assisted periodontal therapy.


The Good News!

After treatment, your mouth will look and feel more healthy. Chronic bad breath from this gum disease will besignificantly be reduced. In the following months, your gums will further heal and become firm and pink. The pockets around your teeth will shrink as the gums re-attach to your teeth roots. With good oral hygiene and frequent visits to your dentist, the chance of your periodontal disease worsening is much smaller.

Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions you may have. We want to make this process as comfortable and as easy as possible for you.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, often painless, may not be noticeable until the presence of advanced bone loss. Symptoms to be aware of include:

• Inflammation – tender or swollen gums
• Bleeding – when brushing or flossing
• Sensitivity – of teeth or gums
• Halitosis – Bad Breath

Can Periodontal Disease Return?


Yes. The goal of periodontal disease treatment is to lessen or eliminate all susceptibility factors that play a role in the initiation and progression of the disease. Periodontal disease can come back when new deposits of plaque and calculus are allowed to reform; therefore, good daily oral hygiene and routine dental cleanings, or periodontal maintenance, are critical in disease prevention.


Since disease susceptibility can change over time, periodontal disease is never fully cured, only controlled.

Proudly Serving Spokane Valley & The Surrounding Areas

Even if you live outside of Spokane Valley, Hymas Family Dental can still be a great choice for your dental needs!

Spokane Valley is a small town that has a real sense of community. At Hymas Family Dental, this community spirit is part and parcel of our practice. While we are on North Evergreen Road, near the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, we make the community neighborhood feel a key part of our service. While Spokane Valley has beautiful scenery so you can relax at your leisure, when it comes to your teeth we work hard to give you plenty to smile about. Spokane Valley is a family-friendly place, and this is something we work hard to present in every aspect of our work. Spokane Valley, Washington is a place for all walks of life to congregate, from young families to professionals. At Hymas Family Dental, we look after everybody as if they are a member of our family.  While Spokane Valley is a relatively small town, it has a personality that is bigger than the sum of its parts, and we aim to provide a service that matches this small-town, community feel.

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