The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease, and over half of American adults have some level of gum disease ranging from the early stages, called gingivitis, to periodontitis – advanced gum disease.
In the early stages, gum disease can be asymptomatic other than some sporadic bleeding and irritated gum tissue. As it advances, it can display some or all of the following signs:
- Pus around the gumline
- Bad breath
- Tooth mobility
- Receding (shrinking) gums
- Pain and sensitivity
- Pocketing between teeth and gums
Bad breath, tooth loss, and oral pain can have severe implications for day-to-day life, but the risks do not stop there. Your oral health impacts your overall health.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
Each year, new research emerges linking gum disease with medical conditions in nearly every system of the body. What this means is that the inflammatory nature of periodontal disease can contribute, trigger, or worsen diseases such as:
- Respiratory issues (bronchitis, COPD)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Pancreatic and gallbladder cancer
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Periodontal disease can also lead to low birthweight babies. You can find more information about the oral-systemic link, which researchers continue to refine, at the American Academy of Periodontology website.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease and Bone Loss
Our patients never have to worry about oral health habits that slip or missed dental appointments that lead to gum disease. We evaluate the periodontal health of each patient thoroughly by measuring gum pockets and identifying bleeding points and gum recession.
Our dentists and hygienists also monitor bone health by taking digital dental x-rays. In severe cases, the infection will begin to eat away at the bone, destabilizing the teeth.
If you have periodontal disease, rather than guilt or judgment, you will receive a personalized treatment plan to help you regain your oral health. Our team understands that people avoid the dentist for many reasons, but our team’s kind nature and solution-focused approach will give you hope and a path to wellness.
Early Gum Disease Treatment
In the early stages, gum disease is often reversible. With customized dental cleanings and regular home care, you can have your gum health back in just a few months.
Our partnership with patients ensures that you have the knowledge and tools to keep your smile healthy at home, and our team will look after you at your twice-yearly dental visits.
Advanced Gum Disease Treatment
A deep dental cleaning can sound intimidating, but our hygienists are praised for their gentle care and wealth of knowledge when it comes to periodontal health. We can also use anesthetic and nitrous oxide to calm the nerves and ensure a comfortable procedure.
The first step to restoring periodontal health is to clean tartar and bacteria from above and below the gumline. This reduces inflammation and irritation and gives the body a chance to heal. In most cases, once a deep cleaning is complete, more frequent follow-up dental cleanings will be necessary.
Eventually, inflammation decreases and the gums stop bleeding. Because patients who have had severe periodontal disease are more likely to have it again, we will work closely with you for a personalized re-care schedule to keep your mouth and body healthy.
Do You Have Painful, Bleeding Gums?
Don’t wait for tooth loss to occur. At Troutdale Dental, we treat gum disease gently and comprehensively for a healthy future smile.