First of all, what is gum disease?
Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is ultimately an infection of the gums. The periodontal tissues in your gums are responsible for supporting your teeth and jaw bones. When plaque and bacteria start to build in the gums, the gums become irritated, inflamed and sensitive. As bacteria continues to build, the gums recede from the teeth, causing pockets to form between the teeth and gums. Pockets then become infected as they accumulate debris, leading to further bacteria and plaque buildup. In this progressed state of gum disease, the gums and bone deteriorate and lose their ability to support the teeth. Unsupported teeth become loose and begin to fall out.
In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
In the advanced stages of gum disease, the effects are considerably irreversible. Teeth must be replaced with dental implants or dentures (find out why dental implants are the more convenient, natural solution to tooth loss and jaw bone deterioration.)
But let’s take it back to the beginning stages of periodontal disease and address the question: Is gum disease reversible?
Yes, gum disease is treatable and reversible in the beginning stages. The best prevention method against gum disease is eliminating unhealthy habits and improving healthy habits:
- Stop smoking
- Load up on vitamin c
- Don’t neglect your teeth and gums
- Brush your teeth and gums between meals
- Ramp up your flossing schedule; floss twice a day
- Receive regular dental checkups and periodontal cleanings
At Periodontal Health Center, we offer numerous preventative procedures to fight bacteria and plaque buildup. The scaling and root planing treatment is on the first line of defense against periodontitis. During this procedure, we clean the crowns of your teeth and the root surface below the gums. This treatment removes the bacteria and toxins that build up in the pockets between the teeth and gums, leading to advanced stages of gum disease.
For more severe cases of gum disease, we offer flap and osseous surgery for periodontal pocket reduction. This treatment aims to reduce the size of the infectious pockets formed between the gums and teeth. In this procedure, we pull the gums back from the teeth, creating a “flap” of gum. We then complete a deep cleaning below the gums and reshape the bone (if necessary) to reduce spaces where bacteria flourish.
In cases where gum disease progresses to advanced periodontitis, we offer periodontal regeneration surgery. These advanced procedures help to restore the bone lost due to periodontal disease, and these procedures can be used individually of each other or in combination with one another. We ensure the best techniques for bone regeneration: guided tissue regeneration, bone grafts and tissue engineering.
Gum disease is reversible if you intervene and receive treatment during the earlier stages.
If your condition progresses too far, we can still treat it using bone regeneration techniques, dental implants and periodontal regeneration surgeries. Before these treatment measures become necessary, take care of your teeth and gums. Floss everyday. Carry a travel toothbrush with you to brush during the day. Schedule regular checkups and cleanings (here.)
Prioritize your oral health to eliminate the potential of gum disease and the necessity for regeneration treatments.
When is the last time you received a periodontal cleaning? Request your appointment today to ensure your gums and teeth remain healthy for years to come. We offer laser gum surgery, esthetic crown lengthening, dental implants, periodontal disease therapy and more to the Tampa and New Port Richey communities!