PNW Dentistry

Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Health Risks Associated with Gum Disease

At 5th Avenue Dental, we know how serious periodontitis can be. After all, it’s directly linked with multiple health conditions and risk factors that can impact your overall wellness. That’s why we believe in treating symptoms earlier, when they’re easier to reverse or halt. We’re not just saving your smile; we’re also helping you save your life!

Bacteria under your gums trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation and tissue detachment. Gradually, these infectious biofilm seep into your cardiovascular system, further straining your immune system. They can even collect within the linings of your blood vessels, heart, and brain. Scientific research shows a direct correlation with active gum disease and health problems like:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack and high blood pressure
  • Premature labor, low birth weight, and preeclampsia
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Infertility

…And many, many others.

Eliminating gum disease from inside of your mouth helps to boost your immunity and reduce the strain that these bacteria have on your body. As such, it becomes easier to address and manage other underlying health concerns. Scientific studies continue to show that addressing oral biofilm levels has a positive correlation with being able to treat other medical problems more effectively and with greater success.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It occurs when plaque biofilm collect along the gumlines and your body attacks it with inflammation or mild bleeding. But when this infection isn’t addressed, your body begins to attack it. Plaque calcifies under the gums along the roots of your teeth, and your immune system sees the foreign body as something that’s dangerous. Slowly, the gums begin to detach. You’ll likely start to develop symptoms such as:

  • Gum recession (“long teeth”)
  • Bleeding every time you brush and floss
  • Bad breath/halitosis
  • Problems with food collecting under your gums
  • Tooth mobility
  • Heavy tartar buildup


During your exam at our office, we will take careful measurements of the “pockets” around your teeth. This shows us where the tissues are attached in comparison to the tooth, as a healthy pocket is only 1-3 millimeters deep. Anything deeper indicates active disease where the tissues have detached.

We may also need to take x-rays to evaluate the bone levels around your teeth. In some cases, treatments need to help rebuild bone, so that the structure around the tooth doesn’t completely fail.

If it’s been years since your last dental checkup and you haven’t been very good about your home care, you may need a deep cleaning to help you get things back on track.