Dental Tips Blog


What Happened on “Gum Health Day?”

Posted in Gum Disease

Friday May 12, 2017 marked the “European Gum Health Day,” supported by 27 of the national societies making up the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP). The event drew in extensive media coverage and here in it’s fourth year shows promising signs of further growth.

So, why was this a big deal?

The EFP unites national gum health societies from all over Europe, Caucasia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Their aim? Support research and education activities that promote periodontal (gum) health.

The annual event on May 12 marks an occasion of public outreach via university courses, conferences, media broadcasts, and free periodontal screenings. It’s estimated that millions of people were reached with an important message about gum health.

Why Gum Health Awareness Matters

It might seem like a silly thing to be so concerned about something as unimportant as gums. But is it, though?

You gums play an essential role in keeping your teeth anchored to your jaw. Additionally, their health is intricately connected to other body systems. Gum disease has been linked to some very serious conditions ranging from erectile dysfunction to stroke.

Alerting the general public to the importance of taking responsibility for their gum health is one way dental professionals build a stronger and healthier community. Awareness programs help people to identify:

  • Whether they are at risk for gum disease
  • Possible signs and symptoms of disease
  • Methods for preventing oral disease
  • Adequate treatment options for controlling gum disease

Here in the United States, there’s an entire month dedicated to national gum disease awareness. Don’t wait until next February, Gum Disease Awareness Month, to schedule a gum health checkup for every family member!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 591-9317


What is a Periodontal Pocket?

Posted in Periodontics

Have you heard of gum disease? Then you should know what a “periodontal pocket” is. These gum “pockets” are the area of unattached tissue encircling each of your teeth, with the bottom of the pocket attaching further down the tooth and indicating the approximate bone levels that support your teeth. This attached gum tissue is very important, as it helps secure and stabilize your tooth, preventing bone loss from occurring.

Plaque and tartar can develop along and inside of the area of this periodontal pocket, causing tissue irritation and the spread of gum disease. When gum disease occurs, a healthy pocket that is only 1-3mm deep can detach from the tooth and become even deeper. Bacteria then spread further under the gums, jeopardizing the health of the tooth. Pockets that are 6-7mm deep or more can indicate moderate to severe bone loss, resulting in mobility or loss of the tooth that is affected.

Your dentist or hygienist will measure these pockets intermittently over the course of your dental care, to monitor their health. If a pocket bleeds or deepens, then it is a sign that active gum disease is present. Routine cleanings can remove bacteria deep within the pocket, but dedicated home care is also an important step in preventing pockets from becoming deeper. Brushing does not clean below the gums, so floss or water floss should be used.

Several deep pockets throughout your mouth may require the need to perform a deep cleaning and periodontal pocket elimination surgery. Thankfully, many areas of disease can be halted or reversed, saving your teeth from the number 1 cause of tooth loss.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



Dentistry for Overall Wellbeing

Posted in Gum Disease

You know how important good oral hygiene and regular appointments are to the health and integrity of your teeth, but did you know your oral health can have a major bearing on that of the rest of your body? Emerging research indicates that your oral health, or lack thereof, can readily contribute to the overall condition of your body as a whole. Patients with diabetes, heart disease and a host of other chronic problems are now being referred to dental and gum specialists, as the link between periodontal disease and chronic health complaints becomes more apparent.

In fact, the condition of your mouth and oral tissues can offer important clues about undiscovered health problems, and is even believed to be a primary cause of many underlying conditions.

Conditions Linked to Poor Oral Health

There are some health conditions which may cause severe effects, and their point of origin may be traced back to your mouth. The condition of your mouth may also indicate future problems, which can affect the level of preventative treatment and monitoring you receive.

Patients who have lost a tooth before the age of thirty-five without being subjected to traumatic injury, for instance, may have higher risk factor for contracting Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Patients with diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes, have been shows to have a higher frequency of gum disease in controlled studies. Oral bacteria may also be linked to heart disease, elevated stroke risk, clogged arteries and endocarditis.

To ensure your overall health and safeguard your wellbeing, it’s essential to take a whole-body approach. Make and keep regular appointments with your dentist to monitor or control developing problems, and you may be reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke or other serious conditions.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental

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