Gum Disease Specialist

Issaquah Dental Health

Mark Herzog, DMD

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Issaquah, WA

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common oral health condition affecting almost half of adults over 30 in the United States. If you experience red, swollen, sore gums or other symptoms of gum disease, Mark Herzog, DMD, and his team offer scaling and root planing and other gum disease treatments at Issaquah Dental Health in Issaquah, Washington. Call to learn more or book an appointment online today.

Gum Disease

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection in your gums, which is the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which is why seeking early treatment is crucial. It’s caused by plaque, or the sticky film of bacteria that builds up on teeth.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease is sometimes painless, so you might not know you have it. That’s why regular dental cleanings and exams are so important. The following symptoms are associated with gum disease, especially as it reaches more advanced stages:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • A receding gum line
  • Bad breath
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Changes in your bite
  • Tooth shifting
  • Painful chewing

Over time, severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss, but early treatment at Issaquah Dental Health helps prevent this unwelcome complication.

What are the risk factors for gum disease?

Some people are more prone to gum disease than others. The following factors increase your risk of developing gum disease:

  • Poor brushing and flossing habits
  • Skipping professional cleanings
  • Smoking or using tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Some medications

To help diagnose gum disease, Dr. Herzog reviews your health history and completes a dental examination. He measures the pocket depth of your gums and takes dental X-rays to check for bone loss.

What is the treatment for gum disease?

The treatment for gum disease varies based on how severe your condition is. Dr. Herzog might recommend:

At-home care

Proper at-home care is crucial for reversing or preventing the spread of gum disease. Dr. Herzog and his team recommend certain toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouth rinses, or brushing techniques to treat gum disease at home in addition to regular professional cleanings.


Scaling removes bacteria and tartar from the surface of teeth and beneath the gums. Your provider may use a laser or ultrasonic device to thoroughly clean your mouth and reduce signs of gum disease.

Root planing

Root planing smooths tooth root surfaces to prevent further bacteria and tartar buildup. It removes the byproducts of bacteria that contribute to inflammation and delayed gum healing.

Oral or topical antibiotics

Dr. Herzog might prescribe oral or topical antibiotics, such as professional-strength mouth rinses or gels, to control bacterial infections associated with gum disease.

Surgical treatments

In more severe cases of gum disease, surgery might be the best option to restore your gums and smile. Dr. Herzog may recommend pocket reduction surgery (flap surgery) to allow more efficient scaling and root planing, soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, guided tissue regeneration, or tissue-stimulating proteins.

He reviews the risks and benefits of each procedure with you and lets you know which one best matches your needs based on the severity of your condition.

Don’t let gum disease progress to the point of gum recession and loose or missing teeth. Call Issaquah Dental Health to schedule an appointment or book one online today.