When thinking of periodontal care, the office of Dr. Eric Yao is your reliable Shoreline dentist. We provide high-quality, specialized dental care in a warm, welcoming, and comfortable environment. Our team of professionals is committed to giving personalized care to each patient, ensuring that the unique needs of all patients are adequately taken care of.

Periodontal care involves the care of your gums, the bones supporting the teeth, and the areas surrounding the tooth. The word periodontal means "around the tooth." Putting this in place could help you prevent or keep periodontitis in check.

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis or periodontal diseases are caused by bacterial infections and inflammations of the gum and bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis does not happen overnight. It starts with an accumulation of plaque over a while. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria and food debris, and when left unattended, plaque becomes calculus, gradually destroying the gums and bones. In the early stages, periodontal conditions are painless and almost unnoticeable. It takes your Shoreline dentist to spot them and start treatment immediately.

Stages of Periodontitis

Engaging in preventive dentistry and best oral health practices will keep periodontitis at bay. Nevertheless, you need to know the stages of periodontitis. Periodontitis starts as inflammation and worsens over time.

1. Inflammation (Gingivitis)

Gingivitis is the earliest sign of periodontitis. It is an inflammation of the gums in which your gums begin to bleed whenever you brush or floss. Before the bleeding phase, it is likely for you to notice some discoloration on your teeth. This discoloration is known as plaque. Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria and food debris on the teeth. It is perfectly normal for bacteria to be in your mouth. But it becomes harmful when these bacteria are exposed to conditions that cause them to grow rapidly. When you do not brush and floss regularly, you are creating a breeding spot for bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, not keeping a periodontal care appointment with your dentist in Shoreline could increase the bacteria mass in your mouth.

2. Periodontal Disease

As plaques form on the teeth, the gum recedes and begins to form pockets that harbor bacteria in the teeth. The immune system would try to fight the infection, and this will cause the gum to recede more. Over time, the teeth will lose bone support and become loose.

3. Advanced Periodontal Disease

At the advanced stage, the connective tissues holding the teeth deteriorate causing the bones, gums, and other tissues to get destroyed. This stage is usually characterized by severe bad breath, foul taste, and excruciating pain when chewing. Unfortunately, advanced periodontitis will most likely cause you to lose your teeth. Even if you have been inconsistent with your dental appointments, contact us immediately if you notice inflammation. It will be easier to put periodontitis at bay and correct other periodontal challenges.

Warning Signs of Periodontitis

Periodontitis does not happen overnight. If you have any of the following symptoms, it is essential to reach out to the dentist right away.

  1. Red or swollen gums
  2. Bad breath or stubborn bad taste
  3. Tender and bleeding gums
  4. Painful chewing
  5. Sensitive teeth
  6. Pulling away of the gum from the teeth
  7. Change in the alignment of your teeth when you bite

Best Periodontal Care You Can Practice at Home

To prevent periodontitis, ensure to practice the following:

  1. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice daily. Better still, brush after every meal.
  2. Use soft toothbrushes and replace them after every three months. Make use of electric toothbrushes as these are more effective in removing tartar and plaque.
  3. Floss every day.
  4. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  5. Use the mouth rinse recommended by the dentist.

While practicing these tips, it is essential to note that these cannot replace regular visits to the dentist.

Factors That Can Increase Your Risk of Periodontitis

The following factors could increase the risk of periodontitis:

  1. Smoking
  2. Poor oral hygiene
  3. Diabetes
  4. Heredity
  5. Stress
  6. Crooked teeth
  7. Using bridges that do not fit perfectly
  8. Hormonal changes like pregnancy and oral contraceptives
  9. Medications that cause dry mouth
  10. Underlying immune deficiencies

How To Prepare for Your Periodontal Care at Your Shoreline Dentist

Before your appointment at your Shoreline dentist, you could prepare by getting some information ready. This information includes:

1. The Symptoms You Are Experiencing

When noting the symptoms you are experiencing, ensure you are not conservative. Site all the symptoms you are experiencing, even if they don't seem related to the appointment. Making these symptoms known will put the dentist in a better position to help you.

2. Key Medical Information

You must disclose your medical history and whatever medical conditions you have.

3. The Medicines You Take

Include the list of all medicines you take, including supplements, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines you use.

4. Prepare to Ask Questions

Ask your dentist a lot of questions. Some of the questions you could ask include:

  • What are the likely causes of my symptoms?
  • What sort of tests do I need?
  • What is the best way to handle this?
  • Are there restrictions and lifestyle changes I need to make?
  • What periodontal care do you recommend for me to engage at home?

Treatment of Periodontitis

The periodontal care for periodontitis is dependent on how advanced it is. Some periodontal care includes:

1. Scaling

Scaling is a dental procedure that uses lasers, instruments, and ultrasonic devices to remove tartar and bacteria from the tooth surface. Scaling also reaches below the gum line to remove tartar and bacteria in hidden places.

2. Root Planing

Root planing smooths the root surface and prevents the build-up of tartar and bacteria in the teeth. It also gives your gums a firmer grip on your teeth.

3. Antibiotics

Topical and oral antibiotics help control bacterial infections in your mouth. These antibiotics could include mouth rinses and gel containing antibiotics.

4. Surgical Procedure

In cases of advanced periodontitis, it will be essential to conduct a periodontal surgery. These dental procedures could include gum grafts, guided tissue regeneration, flap surgery, and dental bone grafts.


The office of Dr. Eric Yao in Shoreline, WA, is committed to retaining your bright and beautiful smile. We provide the best dental services and attend to our patients in a warm and friendly environment. With us, your periodontal care is in safe hands. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for your personalized dental care.