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Can Periodontal Disease Be Reversed?
Periodontal disease can be reversed when detected and treated early on. It is one of the dental issues most people are likely to develop, and about half of adults in the U.S. over the age of 30 have some form of it, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
The severity of gum disease can vary depending on how far the disease has progressed. The earliest stage, known as gingivitis, only causes mild inflammation, and it can be reversed with good oral hygiene and teeth cleanings. The more advanced stage is a chronic condition called periodontitis. This condition eats away at the bone structures and soft tissues that support teeth. It can eventually lead to the loss of teeth.
Ironically, periodontal disease is the body's way of responding to bacteria that cling on teeth and make their way beneath the gums. Factors that increase a person's risk of developing periodontal disease include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Certain medications that dry out the mouth
- Hormonal changes
Symptoms of periodontal disease
As mentioned, the early stages of gum disease can be reversed. That makes learning how to spot the signs and symptoms of this condition even more crucial. These include:
- Bad breath
- Increased sensitivity
- Swollen or red gums
- Heavy tartar buildup on teeth
- Gums that regularly bleed after flossing or brushing
Reversing periodontal disease
Good oral hygiene is vital when it comes to reversing and preventing gum disease from making a comeback. The mouth should be brushed twice daily and flossed once each day at a minimum. Toothbrushes should be replaced once the bristles become frayed since this reduces their effectiveness at removing plaque and food particles.
Keeping the mouth moist at all times also helps reverse gum disease. Saliva is a natural cleaner that removes bacteria and food particles from teeth surfaces. It helps defend against tooth decay and gum disease. Patients are advised to drink a great deal of water during the day and chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. An antibacterial mouthwash can also help limit the bacteria in the mouth.
Patients can also fight gum disease by eating foods that boost the immune system. This slows down the disease's progression. People trying to reverse gum disease should consume foods that are rich in vitamins, meats, fish, dairy products and fruits.
Smoking promotes poor periodontal health, so quitting increases the odds that a patient will be able to reverse gum disease.
How a dentist can help
Routine dental checkups go a long way when it comes to fighting off gum disease. During the appointment, the dentist inspects the patient's mouth, looking for signs of developing oral issues. The dentist can also perform a professional teeth cleaning, which removes tartar and plaque from teeth surfaces. These are the primary causes of tooth decay.
Start treatment immediately
If you have noticed any signs and symptoms of gum disease, getting fast treatment can be the difference between reversing the condition and having to deal with it for the rest of your life. Stop by our clinic for a diagnosis and treatment today.
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