Periodontal disease, or “gum disease,” is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease in Portland is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth, caused by plaque. The bacteria in plaque create toxins that can damage the gums. It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs, which is why it is very important to have regular dental checkups by our dentists at Laurelwood Dental. Treatment methods depend on the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed.
The two major states of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is very common, and is the very early stage of gum disease. Gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, gingivitis is very reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing. Periodontitis is the more advanced stage of gum disease. Infected gums can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by the dentist.
There are certain factors that increase the risk of developing periodontal disease such as smoking or chewing tobacco, systemic diseases (ie: diabetes), certain drugs (ie: steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs etc), bridges that do not fit properly and pregnancy are a few.
It is crucial to schedule an appointment if you have gums that bleed easily; red, swollen, tender gums; recession (gums that have pulled away from the teeth); permanent teeth that are loose; any change in fit of partial dentures or bridges.
Good oral hygiene at home is essential to keep periodontal disease from developing further. Brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balanced diet, and seeing your dentist and hygienist regularly helps you achieve a healthy smile that you can keep for life.
Please call our office at (503) 284-3575 to schedule your appointment today.