Your Gresham dentist wants you to keep your teeth healthy for years to come. Left unchecked, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Treatment at home and our Gresham dental office can help you save those teeth—and contribute to overall health, too.
Learn more about who’s at risk, what you should watch out for, and how periodontal treatment can help.
Periodontitis (per-e-o-don-TIE-tis) is another word for advanced gum disease. Luckily, it doesn’t form overnight, and it’s often preventable. The National Institutes of Health defines it as, “an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place.” Naturally, if there’s an issue with those tissues, you could be looking at tooth loss.
When plaque isn’t removed with regular brushing and flossing, it forms tartar. Accumulation of plaque and tartar can lead to gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease that can be treated with professional cleaning and better oral hygiene at home. If gingivitis isn’t properly treated, gum inflammation can develop into the more serious periodontitis. Pockets develop between the gums and teeth, and these pockets fill with bacteria. Not good—these infections can lead to lost teeth.
Periodontal treatment is available from your Gresham dentist to help you avoid tooth and bone loss from gum disease.
Some risk factors for gum disease include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Using any form of tobacco
- Hormonal changes
- Recreational drug use
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Medications that cause dry mouth or gum changes
- Conditions that decrease immunity
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease
Luckily, there’s a lot we can do to reduce your risk of developing major gum issues.
How Your Gresham Dentist Can Help
Visit your Gresham dental office regularly. Dr. Jeremy Archibald will help you develop a plan for how often to visit—usually every 6-12 months. More frequent cleanings might be necessary if you have some of the above risk factors.
Dr. Archibald and his team will measure the “pocket depth” between your gums and teeth. They may also take dental X-rays to check for bone loss.
Your dental team may ask you questions about your overall health and the medications you’re taking. Don’t be shy! That information is vital for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. All the systems of the body are interrelated, and your dental health is no exception.
Treatment of gum disease might be performed by Dr. Archibald, or you may be referred to a specialist. In the case of tooth loss, we may discuss options for dental implants.
The goal of periodontal treatment is to clean the pockets around teeth and prevent damage to the surrounding bone. Good oral care at home helps quite a bit. Your Gresham dentist may ask you to:
- Consider using an electric toothbrush
- Use a mouth rinse
- Supplement your normal brushing and flossing with another tool designed to clean between the teeth like a dental pick, interdental brush, or dental stick
- Floss once a day, every day
- Try to stop tobacco use
Your dental team might also prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Contact our Gresham dental office to make an appointment if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing and flossing
- Red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
Our team will assess your gum health and help you keep your smile healthy. We’re looking forward to helping you.