What is Gum Disease?
Portland, OR

Image of healthy tooth vs. one with periodontitis at Sylvan Heights Dental in Portland, ORWhen periodontal (gum) disease first develops, it starts out small, barely noticeable. However, if it is not treated, it only continues to get worse as time goes on. Eventually, it can lead to issues such as gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. At Sylvan Heights Dental, we can diagnose your periodontal disease and provide you with the treatment you need to restore the health of your mouth.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is more commonly known as gum disease. It begins when plaque and bacteria collect on your teeth, irritating your gums. This irritation triggers an immune response, which causes your gums to swell. This early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is easy to miss, and often goes untreated. When this happens, it continues to progress. Swollen gums begin to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, causing the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria become stuck in these pockets and cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. They continue attacking your gums while also beginning to attack your jawbone and periodontal ligaments. Eventually, the ligaments and the bone begin to weaken, causing your teeth to become loose. They may even fall out.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease can be caused by some different issues.

•  Poor oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are all essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Skipping any part of this routine, even only occasionally, can lead to a buildup on your teeth.
•  Alignment issues. If your teeth are misaligned, your teeth are harder to brush and floss, creating spaces that can accumulate buildup.
•  Lifestyle habits such as smoking and excessive drinking. Cigarettes restrict oxygen and slow your blood flow, which slows the delivery of nutrients to your gums. Alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
•  Certain medications.
•  Nutritional deficiencies.
•  Hormonal changes.

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease vary based on how far the disease has progressed. The earliest stage, gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that often bleed when you brush and floss. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include:

•  Gum recession.
•  Root exposure and sensitivity.
•  Small gaps appearing between your teeth.
•  Bad breath that will not go away.
•  Your teeth become loose.
•  Your teeth may shift out of their natural alignment.
•  Tooth loss.

How is Periodontal Disease Treated?

There are several treatments available for periodontal (gum) disease. The severity of your situation will dictate what treatment you receive.

•  Scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning of your teeth that scrapes away buildup from all surfaces of your teeth both above and below the gum line.
•  Periodontal maintenance. This is a series of regularly scheduled appointments during which we check the progress of your gums and clean your teeth. Maintenance visits are often recommended if your first treatment did not yield effective results.
•  Gum flap surgery.
•  Pocket reduction surgery, which is performed to reduce the depths of the periodontal pockets.
•  Gum grafts, which restore a natural, healthy gum line.
•  Bone grafting, which is done to restore missing bone mass. This procedure is often done before dental implants.

When periodontal (gum) disease develops, treatment is needed right away. Call Sylvan Heights Dental today to schedule your consultation at (503) 297-1471.
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Office Location

5440 SW Westgate Dr, Suite 165
Portland, OR 97221

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Opening Hours

Mon - Thurs: 8am - 5pm
Fri -Sun: CLOSED

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(503) 297-1471

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Gum Disease Portland, OR | Sylvan Heights Dental | Dentist
When periodontal (gum) disease first develops, it starts out small, barely noticeable. We can help you at Sylvan Heights Dental, call or schedule a visit today!
Sylvan Heights Dental, 5440 SW Westgate Drive, Suite 165, Portland, OR 97221, (503) 297-1471,, 7/2/2024, Related Phrases: dentist Portland OR,