Is Periodontal Disease Reversible?
Almost half of the adult population in America suffers from periodontal disease—a staggering 64.7 million! Periodontitis is a form of gum disease, and unhealthy gums lead to unhealthy teeth. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, the need for tooth replacements, and many other health issues.
The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible. At Prescott Dentistry, we take a holistic approach to dental health, with the understanding that everything happening inside your mouth can affect your overall health. Keep reading to find out more about periodontal disease and how to treat and prevent it.
The Two Types of Gum Disease
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Without good oral hygiene, sticky plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) will begin to build up on your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth love to feed on the plaque and tartar, which usually form along your gum line. This can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums, or gingivitis.
Gingivitis can also occur from malnutrition or as a side effect of certain medications. Other causes of gingivitis include viruses, bacteria, fungi, and genetic factors. If you have gingivitis, your gums will appear red and swollen, they will likely be a bit painful to the touch, and they might bleed when you brush or floss. Gingivitis can also cause you to have bad breath.
Because the symptoms aren’t always obvious, you may not even realize you have gingivitis. Regular dental checkups are very important for this reason, as your dentist will be able to spot the signs before you do. If you have gingivitis, you need to take it seriously, because it can progress into a non-reversible form of gum disease: periodontitis.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
If gingivitis goes untreated and you allow bacteria to feed on the plaque and tartar in your mouth for an extended period of time, it will progress into periodontitis. At this later stage, periodontal disease is irreversible, and can cause permanent dental problems.
Periodontitis destroys your gum tissue, which can lead to gum recession. If your gums recede too far and the roots of your teeth no longer have something to hold them in your mouth, you could face tooth loss. If the gum disease leads to an infection, you might need a root canal and can even experience bone loss in your jaw.
If you have periodontitis, your gums will be very tender, swollen, and red. Your gums will bleed easily, and you’ll have bad breath, pain while eating, loose teeth, and sometimes even pus from infected gums.
Gum Disease Treatment in Prescott, AZ
It is crucial not to let your gum disease progress to the point of periodontitis. Periodontal disease is not reversible, but gingivitis can be treated! In order to save yourself from tooth loss, pain, bad breath, and other health issues associated with periodontal disease, practice good dental hygiene daily. If you suspect you might have gingivitis, Prescott Dentistry can provide diagnosis and treatment options. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.