Is Gum Disease Reversible
Good oral hygiene pays off in spades. By brushing, flossing and going to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning, you are helping to ensure that you don’t develop gum disease and other maladies of the mouth. Some estimates paint a grim picture, that nearly 50% of adults have some form of periodontal (gum) disease.
What is important to note about gum disease is that it gets worse over time. So unless you are observant and proactive in the beginning when symptoms begin to appear, the progressive nature of gum disease means that things are likely going to be more uncomfortable and painful (and expensive) the longer you take to address it.
The good news is that when you identify the symptoms of gum disease, you do have a window to halt, and even reverse, the damage.
Here is our advice on what to do to Reverse (and Prevent) Gum Disease.
Gum disease is the body’s response to harmful bacteria that affect the teeth and the gums due to plaque build up. It ranges in severity from mild inflammation (gingivitis) to a serious and chronic condition (periodontitis). From swollen gums to loss of teeth, the effects of gum disease are…not great.
Avoid common risks
There are several factors that can make a person more susceptible to gum disease, especially when they are combined. They include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Hormones and drastic hormonal changes in males and females
- Medications that dry the mouth
- Weak immune system
- Poor diet that (ie. high in sugar)
As you can see, some of these risks are preventable (smoking, medication intake and hygiene, diet), while others are not (hormones and genetics). That’s why it is important to help our bodies as much as we can by making good decisions about our health and hygiene.
Watch for signs
The early signs that gum disease may be starting or festering are:
- Swollen or discoloured gums
- Bleeding while brushing or eating
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad breath
- Heavy buildup along the gum line
If you suspect that your hygiene and health are not in the best shape, take steps immediately to correct your habits. To do this, start by:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, mindfully, and for at least 2 minutes at a time
- Flossing at least once a day
- Making sure you have a toothbrush with bristles in good shape and that you replace your toothbrush if the bristles are damaged
- Consuming healthy foods and avoiding sugary drinks and junk food
Next, book an appointment with your dentist. Some people feel some shame or discomfort if they haven’t been to the dentist is a while, but we speak from experience when we say that you should find a dentist who is welcoming and understanding of whatever your situation is.
It is important to stay on top of your oral hygiene so that you can stay ahead of disease and stop it before it worsens into something that is painful, unpleasant and expensive to fix.
And believe us, it is better to do it now rather than later. You can reverse gum disease, but only to a point — after that, it is more dealing with the damage, which is much worse. So don’t let fear get the best of you and give your dentist (or us!) a call right away.
We would love to help you restore your teeth and oral health. Contact our South Surrey Dentists today!