What is Periodontal Disease & How Can it be Reversed

Periodontal disease is a type of gum disease that targets the gums and jawbone. It is a fairly common disease with half of US adults being diagnosed at some point in their life. Luckily, it’s also very treatable and can be reversed with good oral hygiene habits. If you suspect that you might have the beginning stages of periodontal disease, it’s best to consult your dentist right away to get the proper treatment. This disease can progress quickly if left untreated which is why it’s important to seek professional dental help.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an ongoing infection of the gums that over time will start damaging the soft tissue of the gums and your bone structure. In the beginning stages of periodontal disease, there will be an excess buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. It constantly forms on your teeth after eating and drinking while mixing with saliva. Routine brushing and flossing will keep this plaque from building up, but if this is not done then periodontal disease can start.

What causes periodontal disease?

The main cause of this disease relates to poor oral hygiene. Specifically, it stems from an excess of bacteria that has built up around your gum tissue causing inflammation. There are many other factors involved in periodontal disease including health issues like diabetes and poor immune systems. Some of the most common symptoms and risk factors of gum disease include:

  • Tooth loss
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen gum tissue
  • Sensitive gums and teeth
  • Smoking
  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain when chewing

How to reverse periodontal disease

There are a few different ways that you can get your oral health back on track and reverse periodontal disease. While it’s a common disease, it’s also a very treatable disease. Reversing gum disease first involves getting the infection under control and then taking preventative measures to begin the reverse process. Here are some of the things you can do to reverse periodontal disease.

1. Plaque removal 

During regular dental visits, your hygienist should be removing any plaque from your teeth. Since plaque is one of the ways excess bacteria can build up on your teeth, it’s best to have any and all plaque removed from your teeth. This is one of the ways you can help prevent or reverse periodontal disease.

2. Scaling and root planing

One of the most common treatments for helping your periodontal disease is through treatment of scaling and planing. Once bacteria have gotten under your gum line, it can be extremely hard to remove with standard methods. This process, done by a dental professional, will safely and effectively remove the built-up bacteria to stop further growth.

3. Preventative care

The best thing you can do for gum disease is to make preventative care a priority. There are a few different preventative care habits that you can implement into your daily routine. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least two times per day for at least two minutes at a time. Next, you should also be flossing your teeth to remove any food particles or bacteria stuck between your teeth. Last, visiting your dentist at least one time a year is important in preventative care to find any problems.

4. Surgery 

The last step to reversing periodontal disease is when antibiotics and scaling are not successful. Flap surgery is a type of surgery that is used to treat gum disease by cleaning the roots of a tooth and repairing any damage that was done to the bones. Your dentist will be able to recommend whether this is a necessary treatment for you or not.

If you are struggling with gum disease or the beginning stages of periodontal disease, we are here to help at Cavanaugh Dental. We are able to help treat your periodontal disease and give you the right tips and tools to reverse your gum disease.


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