7 Steps to Take if You Want to Reverse the Progression of Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a very common problem among American adults. Unfortunately, it’s also a very serious problem. The bacteria that cause gum disease can spread throughout not just the gums but also the teeth’s root structures and can even enter the bloodstream to cause other health complications.

The good news is that patients with gum disease can often reverse its progression, at least in the early stages. Don’t wait until gingivitis turns into periodontal disease. Read on to find out about seven steps to take to reverse the progression of gum disease in its earlier stages.

  1. Stay on Top of Preventative Care

When it comes to gum disease, the best form of treatment is prevention. Patients can stop early gum disease in its tracks by preventing it from taking hold, to begin with. In terms of home care, that means brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, using mouthwash, and avoiding excessively sugary foods and beverages.

  1. Get Plaque Buildup Removed

While developing an optimal home oral hygiene routine can help to prevent gum disease, it doesn’t replace the need for professional cleanings. Patients who are at risk for developing gum disease also need to be especially conscientious about keeping their routine dental cleaning and exam appointments. Those who haven’t had the plaque removed from their teeth in a while should find a family dentist near me and schedule an exam as soon as possible.

  1. Get an Early Diagnosis

Dentists don’t just remove plaque during routine exams and cleanings. They also look for early warning signs of gum disease and other oral health problems. Patients who catch gingivitis early are much less likely to require invasive surgeries and other complex interventions, so don’t skip those exams.

  1. Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are techniques designed to remove plaque and tartar that have built up beneath the gum line. It’s one of the best ways to reverse gum disease that has already progressed from gingivitis to periodontitis.

  1. Laser Periodontal Therapy

If patients are experiencing significant gum recession due to infections that don’t go away with scaling and root planing, their dentists may recommend laser periodontal therapy. This relatively novel treatment option lets dentists deep-clean the roots beneath the gums so they can heal and regenerate.

  1. Traditional Gum Surgery

For patients whose periodontal disease has progressed after attempting the interventions described above, surgery may be the only option. The most common surgical intervention is known as gum flap surgery. It involves cutting the gums back and moving them out of the way to expose the roots and allow the dentist to remove all of the bacteria and bone damage.

In some cases, just cutting back the gums to clear away plaque and address root damage isn’t enough to save the patient’s teeth. Some patients may need soft tissue grafts to address severe gum recession or even bone grafts to compensate for the damage already done.

  1. Healthy Habits

Dentists and periodontists can help patients reverse the course of their periodontal disease. However, it’s up to the patient to develop healthy habits that will continue to reverse the gum disease naturally. Try to adopt a healthy diet, stay on top of home oral hygiene, and consider scheduling cleanings every three months to further improve oral health.

The Bottom Line

Gum disease is a serious problem, but it’s treatable. The key to obtaining an optimal treatment outcome is to seek help as soon as symptoms appear.

image by:  istockphoto-1222228594-170667a

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