Is Gum Disease Treatable or Reversible?

Is Gum Disease Treatable or Reversible?

Did you know that gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults, more so than cavities? Not only is the preventable condition an oral health concern, but it has been shown to elevate the risk of serious health conditions, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even pregnancy complications. Heather Ridge Laser Dentistry is pleased to offer cutting-edge periodontal care to prevent the devastating impact of gum disease on your oral and general health. 

What Is Gum Disease? 

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious bacterial infection that affects the bone and tissues supporting the teeth. It is usually painless in its earliest stage, known as gingivitis, which is why it often goes unnoticed. 

The main cause of gum disease is inadequate oral hygiene. Without regular brushing and flossing, plaque can build up around and below the gum line, irritating the gums and causing inflammation. That causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving spaces called pockets. These pockets trap harmful bacteria and food debris, worsening the inflammation and damaging the tissue and bone that support the teeth. As the condition progresses, it can lead to bone loss, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. 

Additional risk factors for gum disease include genetics, smoking, the natural aging process, tooth misalignment, diabetes, a compromised immune system, certain medications, and hormonal changes like those that occur during pregnancy. 

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

The warning signs of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, are often red, swollen, or bleeding gums. As the condition advances, symptoms may include bad breath, gum recession, painful chewing, shifting teeth, and changes in how the teeth fit together. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss or the need for an extraction. 

Can Gum Disease be Treated or Reversed?

If identified early on, gingivitis is often reversible with professional cleanings and improved oral hygiene practices. Once gingivitis progresses to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, it cannot be reversed. However, treatment and aftercare can usually prevent it from advancing further and wreaking havoc on your oral and general health. 

At Heather Ridge Laser Dentistry, we emphasize the importance of regular dental exams and cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy and sound. The earlier periodontal disease is detected and treated, the better the outcomes. 

How Is Gum Disease Treated? 

Treating gum disease usually starts with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. That involves gently removing plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and gum line and cleaning and smoothing your tooth root surfaces. The non-surgical treatment is one of the most effective ways to promote gum tissue healing. 

Additional treatment options may include ARESTIN. We place the antibiotic directly into the infected gum pockets after your deep cleaning treatment. ARESTIN combats the harmful bacteria left behind at the site of infection after scaling and root planing.

After treatment, most patients require periodontal maintenance visits every three to four months. These involve professional cleanings, evaluating your gum tissues, and intervening, as needed, to maintain your gum health. An essential component of managing periodontal disease is maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home, including regular brushing and flossing. 

Periodontal Care Near Me in Gurnee, IL

Contact Heather Ridge Laser Dentistry to learn more about our periodontal services. Dr. Nallasamy and her team are committed to helping you enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. We invite you to call our office at 847-356-2336 to schedule your appointment or request one online today.