Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It starts with inflammation of the gums and can progress to the point where it damages the bone that supports the teeth. It’s a silent disease that can go unnoticed for years, but when it’s left untreated, it becomes a significant problem and may lead to tooth loss. In this blog post, we’ll discuss causes, symptoms, and ways for reversing periodontal disease.
How Does Periodontal Disease Develop?
For reversing periodontal disease, it’s important to understand how it develops. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums tissues that surround and support your teeth. It’s caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar which irritates the gums, causing gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the early form of periodontal disease characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when touched. Reversing gingivitis is possible if caught early on.
However, If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, an advanced periodontal disease. Periodontitis can cause irreversible damage to the bone and tissue that supports your teeth, leading to tooth loss. You can read more about periodontal disease bone loss.
Several factors increase your risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Hormonal changes (such as pregnancy)
- Medical conditions such as diabetes
- Medications that cause dry mouth
Is Reversing Periodontal Disease Possible?
Reversing periodontal disease is possible when it’s detected early. Gingivitis can be reversed with good oral hygiene and professional teeth cleaning. However, once the disease has progressed to periodontitis, it may need more aggressive treatment, such as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotics, or even surgery.
It’s important to note that reversing periodontal disease isn’t a one-time event; it is an ongoing process that requires consistent oral hygiene practices. Good oral hygiene includes brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly for professional cleanings.
How to Know If You Have Periodontal Disease?
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of periodontal disease so that you can take steps to reverse it before it progresses to more advanced stages. Common symptoms include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Bad breath even after brushing your teeth
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist right away. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for reversing periodontal disease before it becomes more serious.
Reversing Periodontal Disease
Reversing periodontal disease depends on the severity of the infection. Gingivitis can be reversed with:
- Professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tartar
- Good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an anti-bacterial mouthwash
Periodontitis can cause irreversible damage to the tooth-supporting tissues. It may require more aggressive treatment including:
- Scaling and root planing: It is a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line. Then, smoothing irregular areas of the root surface.
- Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection.
- Surgery: In severe cases of periodontitis, surgery may be necessary, such as flap surgery, pocket reduction, and bone and tissue grafts.
Home Care for Reversing Periodontal Disease
Good oral hygiene is essential for reversing periodontal disease and successful treatment. Here are some tips to help maintain healthy gums:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Quit smoking or using tobacco products
- Eat a healthy diet high in vitamins and minerals
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help kill bacteria in the mouth
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and flush out bacteria from the mouth
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional teeth cleaning
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and tooth-supporting tissues that can cause tooth loss if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are the key to reversing periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is reversible with professional teeth cleaning and improving your oral hygiene habits, while periodontitis, an advanced stage of periodontal disease, may require more aggressive treatment such as scaling and root planing, antibiotics, or surgery.
Good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining healthy gums and mouth. Also, visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional teeth cleanings.