Gum Disease Portland, OR
Periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease, is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. It starts with a bacterial growth in the mouth, and if not properly treated, it can destroy the tissue and bone that surround the teeth. Gum disease does not usually surface until people are in their 30s or 40s; however, gingivitis (a milder form of gum disease) can develop as early as teenage years.
In the beginning stages of gingivitis, bacteria contained in plaque build-up, which leads to inflamed gums that bleed during brushing. The gums may be irritated, but the damage can be reversed, making gingivitis very treatable. If left untreated, periodontitis can occur. This causes the inner layer of your gums and bones to separate from the teeth, creating pockets for debris. The collection of debris becomes infected, the plaque spreads below the gum line, and toxins are produced that begin to break down the tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place. If periodontitis continues to progress, tooth loss will occur.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Symptoms of gum disease include:
Sometimes symptoms of gum disease are not initially noticeable. In some cases, gum disease may only affect a certain area of your mouth, such as the molars.
Causes of Gum Disease
There are several risk factors to consider. These include:
Treatment of Gum Disease
There are several methods of treatment, depending on how far the disease has progressed. The only way to remove plaque that has built up is through professional cleanings. With regular cleanings, early stages of gum disease can be combated before it becomes a more serious condition. In advanced stages, the periodontal pockets and infection can be treated by scaling and root planning. In severe cases, a periodontist may need to perform gingival flap surgery. The best form of treatment is always preventative. Make sure to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily. If you have any questions or concerns regarding gum disease contact Hunter Dental Care at (503) 622-9730 to schedule an appointment today.