Sellwood-Moreland and Portland OR
It is important to understand what periodontal disease is, and how it impacts your overall health.
What is periodontal disease?
“Peri” means around, and “odontal,” which means teeth, and the term is often used in conjunction with oral disease. Periodontal disease also referred to as gum disease, affects your teeth, gums, and jaw bone.
If left untreated, it can lead to these oral issues:
- Gum irritation (swollen, or bleeding gums)
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Jaw joint pain
- And more!
What’s the deal with gingivitis?
According to research, nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 have bleeding gums associated with gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease. In the simplest terms, gingivitis is caused by a build-up of plaque around the teeth in which oral bacteria causes infection in the gums. In most cases, it can be resolved with brushing at least twice daily, and rinsing with a non-alcohol-based, fluoride mouthwash followed with flossing at least once daily.
Why oral hygiene is important for your health
The purpose for good oral hygiene is to remove the plaque buildup that naturally occurs in your mouth. The bacteria that live in plaque will erode the tooth enamel, causing infection, and tooth decay.
Gum disease begins as gingivitis, and advances to severe stages that affect your overall health including:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of stroke
- Pre-term birth
- Low birth weight
OralDNA and Saliva Testing
At Whole Health Dentistry, our goal is to diagnose and treat oral infections before they have a chance to cause problems to your health. One of the new tools we have for doing this is called OralDNA. With OralDNA and saliva testing, we can identify harmful pathogens, such as bacteria or viruses, that lead to gum disease. Through salivary diagnostic testing, we can detect periodontal infection during its early stages, even before it is recognizable through a visual exam.
How can I protect myself from periodontal disease?
Since gum disease stems from poor oral hygiene, it is essential that you practice good oral hygiene efforts at home, which includes brushing and flossing daily especially as a smoker. Plus, undergo dental cleanings and checkups twice a year.
If you already have periodontal disease, it is essential that you seek treatment immediately. Ignoring the issue will only cause it to get worse, and affect your overall health.
To schedule your next dental exam, contact Whole Health Dentistry today at (503) 462-1538.
Whole Health Dentistry offers complete oral care to patients of Sellwood-Moreland and Portland, Oregon.