Is Gum Disease Reversible?
Statistics show that more than half of American adults have some form of gum disease. That is about more than 64 million people. Gum disease doesn’t just develop overnight. The symptoms are subtle, and the disease creeps in slowly.
Most people notice it when it is fully developed. One of the reasons this happens is that many people focus on their teeth and neglect their gums. They fail to realize that their gum health is directly linked to the health of their teeth.
Gum disease usually occurs from a lack of proper oral hygiene. Other than this, smoking is a leading cause of gum disease. There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a gum disease that results from poor oral hygiene. This gum disease usually develops when you have a plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, causing bacteria to thrive in your mouth. Bacteria then causes gum inflammation, eventually leading to infection in your gums.
You can also develop gingivitis because of malnutrition and certain medications. Exercising proper oral hygiene can help reverse the effects of gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more serious condition known as periodontitis.
Bacteria thrive and grow exponentially when they feed on plaque and tartar. If you fail to take any action, the bacteria start to destroy both your gums and teeth. Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that causes inflammation to your gums, resulting in swelling and bleeding.
It also causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, opening your mouth to decay and infection. In severe cases, you may experience bone degradation, leading to tooth loss.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
There are three stages of periodontal disease:
- First stage - Dentists measure the length of pockets between your teeth to determine the severity of the periodontal disease. If you have deep pockets at about four to five millimeters between your teeth, it means the disease has begun to attack your jawbone. At this point, brushing and flossing alone cannot reverse the damage.
- The second stage - At this stage, the bacteria causing infection to your gums get into your bloodstream, affecting your immune system. The deep pockets between your teeth are at about six to seven millimeters. If you don’t take any action at this point, you can experience increased gum bleeding, shifting of teeth, bone and tooth loss, and gum sensitivity.
- The third stage - At this stage, the disease has advanced and can cause serious damage to your jawbone and gums, leaving possible gaps between your teeth. If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause more serious health problems such as lung and heart diseases.
Can Periodontitis Be Reversed?
It is possible to reverse periodontitis. You need to visit an experienced dentist for treatment. Your dentist will conduct some tests to determine at which stage the periodontal disease is. During the first and second stages of the disease, your dentist will apply deep cleaning procedures known as scaling and root debridement.
During the advanced stage, you will most likely require laser therapy or periodontal surgery to clean the deep pockets in your gums. To manage the infection, your dentist may apply advanced cleaning procedures. In addition to these treatments and proper hygiene, your dentist may ask you to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
To know more about gum disease, visit The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at our offices in Destin, Panama City Beach, or Navarre, Florida. You can also call 850-810-0300, 850-810-0600, or 850-409-6400 to book an appointment today.
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