Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of the population aged 30 and above show gum disease symptoms. If you suffer from this condition, you’ve probably asked yourself, can you reverse gum disease? While complete recovery is a possibility, it all depends on the severity of the infection.
About Gum Disease
Before delving into whether can you reverse gum disease, let’s get a better understanding of this condition. Gum disease damages your gum’s soft tissue and the teeth’s supporting structures. It occurs when plaque (a sticky food and bacteria coating) spreads below your gumline to cause irritation.
Over time, plaque eats into the connective tissue supporting the teeth, making them loose. In addition to plaque, gum disease is influenced by various risk factors such as smoking, hormonal fluctuations, genetic predisposition, underlying health conditions, and medications.
The disease progresses in two stages:
The infection stays within the soft tissue and is often characterized by mild symptoms such as:
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Dark red gums
At this point, the infection has advanced to both the gums and teeth. Your teeth may start falling out because your gum tissue is too weak to hold them. Depending on the damage, periodontitis can either be mild, moderate, or severe. Look out for the following symptoms.
- Pus around the gumline
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Tender gums
When Can You Reverse Gum Disease?
Gingivitis may cause inflammation, but it doesn’t damage the gums, tooth roots, or other mouth structures. As such, the dentist could still reverse the condition through scaling and root planning. Scaling removes bacteria and tartar (hardened plaque) below and above the gum line. On the other hand, root planning smooths rough patches on the root surface to discourage bacteria buildup and promote gum reattachment.
When Is Gum Disease Irreversible?
While periodontitis is irreversible, you can manage it with proper dental hygiene and professional care. Because the disease has already damaged the bone and gums, treatment focuses on preventing further progression. The dentist may recommend antibiotics, deep cleaning, and even surgery to reposition the gums. You’ll need regular periodontal maintenance from this point to minimize the risk of a reoccurrence.
Seek Help Immediately
So, can you reverse gum disease? The answer to this question depends on how fast you get treatment. Visit your dentist as soon as you suspect gum disease. You might not be infected, but the dentist can advise on preventive care for optimal oral health. Saving your smile starts with booking an appointment at LeCroy Dental. Contact us today!