NOTICE REGARDING COVID-19To do our part in supporting community health and in compliance with the Governor of Washington State's Proclamation, our office is suspending all non-essential dental care through May 18, 2020.
We are still available for emergency services Monday through Thursday. We are contacting each patient scheduled over the coming weeks to discuss their appointment and reschedule you to a future date.
Thank you for your understanding, and we wish everyone health during this stressful time.
If you have questions or are experiencing a dental emergency please call us at 509-525-9474 and we will respond in a timely manner.
We look forward to seeing all of our lovely patients in person again soon!
Sincerely, Dr. Patrick Sharkey, Dr. Patty Martin, and Dr. Kimberly Murdoch
Gum (Periodontal) Disease
What is gum disease?Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by the bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.
Some Warning Signs
There are many factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease, including: smoking, pregnancy and diabetes. It is important to visit our dentists if you suspect you have gum disease, because the sooner you treat it, the better.
The Early Stage of Gum Disease Is Called GingivitisIf you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at Alder Family Dental, followed by daily brushing and flossing.
Advanced Gum Disease Is Called PeriodontitisChronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.
Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone, and may occur in localized areas or in the entire mouth. Periodontal disease cannot be cured, however, we have measures to help slow or stop the progression.
Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.
Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. The treatment methods that our dentists diagnoses will depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential for helping to keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious.