Yes, it is possible to reverse periodontal disease. However, before you know how to treat this oral health condition, you must first know what you are facing. The first thing to know is that there are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the swelling of the gums that is caused by the accumulation of bacteria along the gum line. If the gingivitis is left untreated, it leads to periodontitis. Symptoms of periodontal disease include receding gums, inflammation along the gum line, pain, and sensitivity to changes in temperature.
Prevention of Periodontal Disease
Ask any periodontal disease expert and they will tell you, proper dental hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontal disease from occurring. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing can also prevent plaque from forming. In addition a good antibacterial mouthwash can provide protection against plaque and gingivitis.
Smokers should quit their bad habit if they are concerned about their oral health as well as their general wellness. Aside from smoking-related symptoms such as bad breath and an unpleasant coating on the tongue, smoking increases the risk of gum disease because it damages gum tissues and promote inflammation.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
A periodontal disease expert can remove the accumulation of plaque along the gum line by scraping it away. This is one way to reverse periodontal disease when still in its early stages. To prevent gingivitis (or inflammation of the gums) from recurring, the patient should practice good oral hygiene by brushing, including regular flossing and brushing between the teeth with special little brushes.
Once gingivitis has developed into the more advanced stages of Periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, this requires more complex treatments by a periodontal disease expert. Inflammation has already breached the gum line. Treatment at this stage will be a combination of regular treatment from your periodontist as well as doing your part at home.
To help combat and reverse periodontal disease, the dentist will remove tartar and plaque from below the gum line. This is known as scaling and root planing. Local anaesthesia is used because it would be painful without it. In addition, your periodontist will prescribe an antibiotic to limit the infection.
Some patients require oral surgery to fold back the gum tissue. A periodontal disease expert can also perform surgery to treat deeper pockets of infection. In extremely advanced cases, the periodontist can also do grafting, which is a procedure that involves taking tissue from one part of the mouth and replacing gum tissue that was damaged. Grafting covers up the exposed roots of the teeth. These procedures may seem extreme but can help save your original teeth and reverse the signs and symptoms of the disease. In many cases, contacting the right periodontal expert will mean that he or she can treat your teeth with without the need for surgery.
After your periodontal disease treatment, it is vital that you maintain good dental care to avoid further damage and inflammation. Your periodontist will also recommend regular visits to the hygienist and checkups and in order to monitor the health of the gums.
One of the often forgotten things is that a healthy diet is also part of the process to reverse periodontal disease. Eating the right food can help you maintain healthy gums. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and fish oil help decrease inflammation.
In summary, Periodontitis is a condition that can be reversed and prevented through proper dental care and regular monitoring by your hygienist and periodontist to sustain the health of the gums. Good periodontal disease treatment involves both a course of treatment with a good periodontal disease expert and the simple preventive dentistry steps you can practice at home.
If you would like to talk to a periodontal disease expert or if you would like your dentist to refer you to a periodontal specialist, please get in touch here
Dr Galgut is one of the UK’s leading periodontists. He was awarded Dentist of the Year in both 2010 and 2013 in recognition of his contributions to periodontal disease treatment. He runs his private practice clinic in North London. You can learn more about Dr Peter Galgut and his work here – About Dr Galgut