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Symptoms of Periodontal Disease


Taking proper care of your mouth is essential for maintaining its health. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and attending regular dental visits (at least twice a year) are all crucial steps. By taking care of your mouth, you are taking steps to prevent serious oral health complications, such as periodontal disease. Sometimes, however, despite your best efforts, periodontal disease can still happen. At Oak Park Dental, we not only treat periodontal disease, but we can help you to recognize the symptoms so that you can seek treatment as quickly as possible.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is a progressive oral health condition. It is caused by plaque and bacteria, both of which occur naturally in your mouth. A buildup of plaque and bacteria causes your gum tissue to become irritated and red. Your immune system sends an inflammatory response, to fight off the attackers. Your gums become swollen, and begin to pull away from your teeth, creating “pockets.” Bacteria fall into these pockets and become trapped. Along with attacking your gum tissue, they begin to attack your periodontal ligaments as well as your jawbone, weakening both. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, as well as health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
A man with tooth ache at Oak Park Dental

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

There are several different symptoms of periodontal disease, and there are different symptoms based on the stage of your condition. The earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss. These symptoms, however, are often overlooked, thought to be the result of brushing too hard.

As periodontal disease advances, your gums continue to remain red and swollen, but other symptoms begin to emerge:
•  Chronic bad breath, which is caused by bacteria and other debris trapped below the gum line.
•  Small gaps between your teeth, which lead to periodontal pockets. The pockets continue to grow deeper the longer the periodontal disease goes untreated.
•  Gum recession. Swollen gums pull away from your teeth. Infected tissue begins to die off. As your periodontal pockets grow deeper, the inflammation continues, and your gums continue to pull away from your teeth. As a result, your gums begin to recede.
•  Tooth sensitivity. When gum recession exposes the roots of your teeth, it can lead to severe sensitivity.
•  Loose teeth. When oral bacteria attack your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, it weakens them, which causes your teeth to loosen.
•  Misaligned bite. As your teeth shift, your bite is thrown off. This can lead to bruxism, excessive tooth wear, and jaw pain.
•  Missing teeth. Advanced stages of periodontal disease can lead to your teeth falling out.

Treatment for Gum Disease

Treatment of periodontal disease depends on what stage it is in. Gingivitis, the earliest stage, can be easily reversed with a more vigilant at-home care routine and a thorough oral exam. More advanced stages of periodontal disease, however, require more treatment. Treatments include scaling and root planing, laser dentistry, pocket reduction surgery, and grafting (gum grafts and bone grafts). After you receive treatment for your periodontal disease, it is important to maintain the health of your mouth, which helps to prevent a new infection from occurring.

If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, no matter how minor they may seem, seeking treatment right away is important. Call Oak Park Dental at (971) 600-0211 to schedule your appointment today.
Serving Salem Keizer Community since 1987

We provide dental services for the entire family from children to older adults. Our entire team of caring Doctors, hygienists and support staff pride ourselves on a high level of patient care.

Using the latest in modern dental technology our services range from sealants to complex implant surgery. Our goal is a comfortable experience for our patients with beautiful results.


Smile more :-) Call today

(971) 600-0211


Located in the heart of the beautiful Willamette Valley.

Convenient hours
Monday–Friday 7am–5pm

3380 Astoria Way NE
Salem, OR 97305

(971) 600-0211

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