Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and tooth-supporting tissues, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. The good news is that the early stages of gum disease can be reversed with proper treatment and care. In this blog post, we will be discussing how gum disease can be reversed and what steps you should take to prevent it from progressing.
Can Gum Disease be Reversed?
The answer depends on the stage of gum disease, which is usually categorized as either gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, characterized by red and swollen gums that bleed easily when brushing teeth or flossing. The early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can often be reversed by improving oral hygiene habits and professional dental cleaning.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease characterized by infection and destruction of the tissues and bone supporting your teeth.
Unfortunately, advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can’t be reversed and may require more extensive treatments, such as scaling and root planing or surgery. The treatment can help stop the progression of the disease and prevent further damage, but it can’t reverse any damage that has already occurred.
Why Can Gum Disease Be Reversed in The Early Stage but Not in The Advanced Stage?
When gingivitis is caught early, it can usually be reversed by professional teeth cleaning and improving oral hygiene habits at home. At this stage of gum disease, the gum tissue and bone around the teeth have not been damaged, and the inflammation can be reversed.
However, once periodontitis has set in, the infection causes irreversible damage to the tissues and bone that support the teeth. The gums begin to recede and pockets form between the gums and teeth. These pockets trap bacteria and food particles, leading to more inflammation and destruction of the gums and bone.
If periodontitis is left untreated, the teeth may eventually become loose or fall out. In this advanced stage of gum disease, it is not possible to reverse the condition, but it can be managed with professional treatment.
How to Reverse Gingivitis?
Gingivitis can be reversed by professional teeth cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist, in conjunction with improving oral hygiene habits at home.
At home, you should brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce the bacteria count in your mouth. You should also avoid tobacco and limit sugary foods and drinks which promote tooth decay and gum disease.
How Periodontitis is Treated?
Although periodontitis can’t be reversed, it can be managed with proper treatment. The treatment aims to control the infection, reduce inflammation, and prevent further damage to the gums and bones.
Treatment includes scaling and root planing, also known as periodontal cleaning, which involves the removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove plaque and tartar buildup, repair soft tissue damage, and restore lost bone around the teeth. Your dentist may recommend a bone graft for periodontitis bone loss.
Can Gum Disease Be Reversed – Conclusion
Gum disease can be reversed in the early stages by professional teeth cleaning and improving oral hygiene habits. However, once periodontitis has developed, the damage is irreversible and must be managed with professional treatment.
Regular visits to the dentist and proper oral hygiene are important steps to prevent gum disease as well as reversing it in its early stages.