Did you know that 77% of working people in the age group of 18-65 are affected by periodontal attachment loss or a major form of gum disease? Gum disease is progressive and can affect all parts of the teeth other than the gums and if left untreated can result in an advanced disease stage called periodontitis. Bothchildren and adults who suffer from gum disease. The milder form is called gingivitis and children areaffected by this. Gum disease can be reversed and one of the ways is the removal of plaque. Read on to learn more about periodontal disease and ways to reverse it.
What is gum disease?
Periodontitis is a healthy gum killer disease that results due to bad or poor oral hygiene. Typical culprits are bacteria that form a slimy layer on the teeth called plaque. On sweets ingestion, the bacteria digests and produces acids that slowly destroy bones and soft tissues of the teeth and gums. This is the reason why oral hygiene is extremely important as the plaque becomes resistant, and hard to destroy when one is lackadaisical on their teeth cleansing habits. Other factors trigger periodontitis and these includes accumulation of tartar, nutrition deficiency, being pregnant, a family history of poor resistance and immunity in the body, harmful habits like teeth grinding, and teeth clenching and habits like tobacco usage.
Causes of gum disease
Bacteria are the usual culprit, helpful in destroying the gum by causing periodontitis. Sufferers of gum disease are affected by environmental and genetic factors like immunity, polymorphisms in the gene for Interleukin-1, diabetes, osteoporosis and also sometimes by cigarettes.
Gingivitis has been found to have pretty ugly correlations with health wellbeing like coronary heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, low birth weight, diabetes and ageing.
Stages of gum disease
It is an honourable villain and takes the place of the first stage in the gum disaster. It afflicts man-child and the outcome is a nasty fine storehouse for anaerobic bacteria. Bacteria help cause redness and swelling in one or more of the teeth in a person's mouth by aggressive plaques. The gums bleed easily and it gives invisible signs of the disease as gums may not be tender and sensitive. If this stage is allowed to grow then it results in bone destruction surrounding the teeth in a person's mouth resulting in periodontitis.
Slight periodontal disease
Slight periodontal disease is the second stage in a gum disease. Bacteria has started to reach the bones and has started destroying the bone underlying the gums so the even odds of the disease being reversible works against it. Bacteria cause ill health by bone loss due to their aggressive growth. Scaling and root planing can remove bacteria that are deep-seated in the gums as the only choice remedy at this stage.
Moderate periodontal disease
This is the stage when the bacterial destruction results in myriad health issues like where a larger half of it creates visible clinical symptoms bleeding of gums, teeth are loosely sealed and become loose from bone support and inflammatory responses throughout the body.
Advanced periodontal disease
Connective tissue problems occur in the body at this stage. The negative growth of the disease results in the gums, bones and tissues being affected as the disease progressively deteriorates them. Severe pain, rotten breath, foul smell, and likely tooth will be found missing by loss.
Symptoms of gum disease
There are mainly four symptoms of gum disease according to dentistry.UIC.com. They are:
- Swollen and bleeding gums as healthy gums rarely bleed. Without brushing and flossing dental plaque builds up and causes irritation of gums. This makes the gums red, swollen , sore and causes them to bleed. The dental plaque attached the fibers around the teeth that make the teeth adhere resulting in Gingivitis. It is advisable to continue to floss and brush despite mild bleeding
- Gum recession is clear when the teeth start to look longer than usual due to loss of gum tissue. This causes the roots to be exposed causing infection, sensitivity and decay. Food particles get caught between the pockets created by this and get difficult to be removed by flossing and brushing. There is also increased inflammation. Scaling and root planing are effective treatments
- Tooth sensitivity when crunching ice, drinking hot drinks due to exposed roots and thin enamel of the roots
- Bad breath that does not go away is a result of progressive bacterial growth, tooth decay and this warrants dental consultation
Is gum disease reversible?
How to reverse gum disease?
Good oral hygiene
Using a good brush and replacing the brush when it gets old and frayed are ways one can make sure that the basic and most primary task in body care gets taken care of. One must also do regular flossing. Drinking lots of water can also make sure that bacteria can be flushed off as this enables saliva formation.
Regular dental visits
There are times when the gum disease can be masked and there is no way that a disease can be detected. For instance when smoking, bleeding of gums does not occur as smoking restricts blood flow. Regular visits to the dentist can help in detecting gum disease. The dentist can help in checking the symptoms and prescribe treatment that can reverse gum disease.
Quit smoking or tobacco chewing
According to CDC.gov, smokers are more susceptible to periodontal disease than non smokers and the risk gets higher along with the duration of the smoking habit. This is not just true of smoking as tobacco use in any form increases periodontal disease risk.
LANAP or laser dentistry is a treatment to get healthy gums restored. It attacks the inflamed gums, destroys bacteria and restores health to the patient. It is a minimally invasive procedure that has been cleared by the FDA for treatment and reversal of gum disease.
Treatment of gum disease
Gum disease cannot be left unnoticed and early intervention is a great way for gaining sanity. It requires dental consultation, follow up, following treatment religiously.Sometimes root planing and scaling are prescribed; Sometimes LANAP might be prescribed by the dentist. It is necessary to see the dentist at the earliest signs to prevent progression of gum disease. If left unattended the teeth can get sensitive, lose its enamel and lose its connection to the gums. It results in inflammation, secondary inflammation to other parts of the body. The bones beneath the teeth become weak and teeth might become loose.
How to prevent gum disease
Proper oral hygiene, regular monitoring of the health of the teeth, routine checkups with the dentist. Preventing smoking habits and tobacco use in other forms. Drinking green tea to reduce inflammation, using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash, and using an antibacterial toothpaste are ways of reducing bacteria in the mouth. One must also remove regular plaque and dental caries in the mouth as they form.
When to seek dentist advice
Dentist advice must be sought when symptoms of gum disease occur like bad breath that does not go away, tooth sensitivity causing discomfort and anxiety, bleeding while brushing. Earlyintervention improves the prospects of treating gum disease. If there is a family history of bad teeth along with other medical conditions like pregnancy, diabetes and taking certain medications increases the risk of getting gum disease. One must watch out for the symptoms at this time.
Good oral hygiene and quitting smoking can help in treating gum disease. Following at home care and regular check ups to the dentist are mandatory for the good health of the teeth.
- Reverse Gum Disease with Laser Dentistry - Charmaine Johnson DDS Premiere Smile Center [Internet]. Charmaine Johnson DDS Premiere Smile Center. 2022 [cited 2 April 2022]. Available from:https://drjohnsondds.com/2020/06/reverse-gum-disease-with-laser-dentistry#:~:text=Reverse%20Gum%20Disease%20with%20Laser%20Dentistry%20Gum%20disease,surgery%2C%20can%20get%20your%20smile%20into%20wor
- The Warning Signs of Gum Disease | College of Dentistry | University of Illinois Chicago [Internet]. Dentistry.uic.edu. 2022 [cited 2 April 2022]. Available from: https://dentistry.uic.edu/news-stories/the-warning-signs-of-gum-disease/
- Periodontal (gum) Disease [Internet]. Google Books. 2022 [cited 2 April 2022]. Available from: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tqu8EFXqXKoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA4&dq=is+gum+disease+reversible&ots=fnF0DJZhQL&sig=v5FQvq02-FskKhGyrdC70s9Dat8#v=onepage&q=is%20gum%20disease%20reversible&f=false