If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. An estimated 80% of American adults currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissue and bone that supports the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Research points to health effects from periodontal disease that go well beyond your mouth. Whether periodontal disease is stopped, slowed, or progressed depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day from this point forward.
Plaque and bacteria become more harmful the longer they remain on teeth. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth”). In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form “pockets” that are infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s enzymes fighting the infection actually start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Scaling and Root Planing
When you come into Advanced Dental Arts NW for your appointment, our hygienists will examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation. A tiny ruler will be used to gentlly check for periodontal pockets and to measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. We may, with your consent, take an x-ray to see whether there is any bone loss. We want to be your choice forDentist near Portland State University and SW Portland – so contact us today to get started.