Mouth-Body Connection–Diagnosing and Treating Gum Disease

Sellwood-Moreland and Portland OR

It is a well-known fact that oral health directly impacts the health of the body. Many studies have linked gum disease to systemic diseases such as an increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. But, here’s we diagnose it, and stop it from taking over your life.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

Routine dental exams and cleanings should be top on your list every year, twice a year in fact. The early stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis, which has been seen in young children, and adults. Often, a dental professional can diagnose gum disease by an examination of one’s oral health.

Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth (in adults)
  • Receding gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Tooth loss
  • Diminished levels of jaw bone

However, looks can be deceiving. One of the primary methods of confirming gum disease is by measuring the gum depths around each tooth. As gum disease progresses, pockets are formed under the gum line around the root of each tooth. These pockets are referred to as perio pockets, and they harbor bacteria and infection that only worsen the condition, if not treated. Taking these measurements should be painless, although some sensitivity may occur in severe stages of periodontal disease.

Treating gum disease

Scaling and root planing – Each case of gum disease is patient specific, and so is treatment. For some, more frequent dental cleanings, or a scaling and root planing procedure may be enough to stop further progression of the disease. This special procedure is essentially a “deep cleaning” of your teeth and gums in which we clean your teeth above and below the gum line to ensure harmful bacteria is removed, and the perio pockets are thoroughly cleaned.

Laser gum therapy – For more advanced stages of gum disease, we offer laser gum therapy in which we can remove the diseased gum tissue, along with killing the harmful bacteria, which allows the area to restore and heal. Laser therapy is minimally invasive and causes little to no bleeding both during and after the procedure.

Oral hygiene – Regardless of your treatment, it is critical that you practice good oral hygiene habits at home. This includes brushing twice a day, as well as flossing once a day. Amp up your routine by adding in a non-alcohol based mouth rinse. The success of your treatment depends on your at-home oral hygiene regimen.

If you experience symptoms of gum disease, do not delay in seeking treatment. Contact Whole Health Dentistry today by calling (503) 462-1538 and schedule a consultation.

Whole Health Dentistry offers complete oral care to patients of Sellwood-Moreland and Portland, Oregon.