Is It Ever Too Late to Reverse Gum Disease?

by | Jun 7, 2024

Believe it or not, the number of adults in America who currently suffer from some form of gum disease is close to 50%.[1] Symptoms may be easy to ignore in the early stages, and you can even reverse gum disease fairly easily at this point. However, if left untreated, symptoms can become much more severe, and treatment can become a lot more complicated.

But is there ever a point where it’s too late to reverse gum disease? Here is what you need to know about gum disease.

How to Tell Whether You Have Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is a gum tissue infection most often caused by poor oral hygiene.[2] Lack of oral hygiene allows bacteria-filled plaque and tartar to build up in the teeth and gums, eventually leading to infection.

Periodontal disease has three major stages: gingivitis, gum disease, and advanced gum disease. Symptoms begin with tenderness and swelling of the gum tissue but can progress into gum infection, loose teeth, and tooth loss.

Early symptoms of periodontal disease include the following:

  • Red or swollen gum tissue
  • Tender or painful gums
  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Bad breath

Infected gum tissue can begin to deteriorate. This may lead to gum recession and can expose sensitive tooth roots to the elements. The result can involve an increased sensitivity to hot and cold and the appearance of your teeth elongating.

What Happens as Gum Disease Advances?

As periodontal disease progresses, it can begin to compromise the structures that hold your teeth in place, causing them to become loose and even fall out. This advanced stage of gum disease can also result in infection, potentially affecting your overall health. It has been associated with a wide array of severe health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.

Is It Possible to Reverse Gum Disease?

Reversing gum disease is possible, but only when it’s caught in its earliest stage: gingivitis. Gingivitis is the only one of the three types of gum disease that can be cured. However, it’s important to note that there are several highly effective ways to manage the symptoms of gum disease and help you maintain good oral health even after it has progressed beyond gingivitis.

If your gum disease has advanced beyond gingivitis, you’ll need regular periodontal visits to treat it. During those visits, your periodontist will likely suggest one or more of the following treatments:

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

You have the most essential job when it comes to defending your teeth and gums from the symptoms of gum disease. That job involves brushing and flossing twice a day, every day. You may also need to use special cleaning brushes and picks and special mouthwashes to keep the bacteria at bay. Your hygienist will show you how to use these special tools.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are typically the standard treatment for gum disease. This deep cleaning involves your periodontist accessing the areas beneath the gum line that floss and toothbrushes can’t. Four to six weeks after cleaning, your periodontist will need to re-evaluate if further treatment is needed.

Taking Medications

Antibiotics are commonly added to the treatment protocol of gum disease treatment. When added to the treatment, these prescription medications can work to combat infection-causing bacteria and prevent the gum disease from progressing any further.

Opting for Surgical Treatment

Depending on the severity of the infection, your periodontist might recommend surgical intervention. This can include procedures to remove dead gum tissue, eliminate bacteria, and remove plaque and bacteria. Other treatments can reduce gum pockets and restore lost bone mass. Your periodontist can also replace lost gum tissue with a gum graft procedure.

Effective Gum Disease Treatment in Rochester, NY

If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, it’s crucial to visit a periodontal professional as soon as possible. At Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, our board-certified periodontal specialists have extensive knowledge and experience treating all gum disease stages. Reach out to us today by calling 585-685-2005 or scheduling your appointment online.





Latest From Our Blog