How to Reverse Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease is the name of the dental problem that occurs when the bacteria that are found in the sticky, clear film that continually forms on the teeth, called plaque, aren’t properly cleared away through brushing and flossing. Instead, plaque is left to spread onto the soft, pink tissue of the gums where the bacteria cause inflammation and infection. This represents the very start of periodontal disease - an early stage best known as gingivitis. However, gum disease is progressive, and the effects will get worse the longer that it is left untreated. Prompt identification and action are essential and caught early enough, it is possible to reverse the effects that periodontal disease is having on your teeth and oral health so that there are no permanent consequences for the condition and appearance of your smile.
What happens if you don’t reverse periodontal disease?
Getting on top of gum disease as soon as possible is essential so that you can avoid the many different effects that it can have, both on the way that your teeth look and your long-term oral and general health. Some of these include:
- Gums that bleed persistently when you brush your teeth, floss, or eat hard foods.
- Gums that look red, swollen, and are tender to the touch.
- Painful abscesses on the gum tissue.
- Regular prescriptions for antibiotics to help treat infections of the gum tissue.
- Bad breath.
- Receding gums, which can expose tooth roots.
- Teeth that seem loose.
- Deterioration of the bone in the jaw.
Studies have found that people who have poor oral health and suffer from moderate to severe gum disease are more likely to also experience chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and more.
How to reverse periodontal disease
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to stop periodontal disease in its tracks and to reverse the early effects that it has had. Some of the steps that you can take include:
Boosting your oral hygiene routine
In most instances, periodontal disease develops when people fail to brush and floss their teeth properly. This leaves plaque on their teeth, which can spread onto the gum and cause the start of gum disease. Boosting your oral hygiene routine is the best way to prevent your periodontal disease from becoming any worse.
- Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice each day, for a minimum of two minutes each time.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Use a small-headed toothbrush as you will be able to maneuver this around your teeth more effectively, and brush methodically.
- Choose a toothbrush with a soft head and don’t brush too hard. Stiff bristles and pressing too hard can damage your gums, as well as the enamel of your teeth.
Don’t forget to floss
Flossing is one of the most overlooked elements of an oral hygiene routine, but it is also extremely beneficial for preventing and reversing the effects of gum disease. This is because flossing removes plaque, food particles, and bacteria from the tiny crevices between the teeth that an ordinary toothbrush can’t reach. If you find regular floss too tricky to use, consider an alternative such as an interdental brush, floss pick, or oral irrigation device.
Studies show that smokers are significantly more likely to suffer from gum disease. This is because smoking interferes with the normal function of the cells within the gums, making them more susceptible to infections. Smoking also makes it harder for your body to heal itself.
If you are concerned about periodontal disease, please contact Courthouse Art of Dentistry in Arlington, VA at 703-260-9600 today.