So, you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease and recommended special treatments. But what is periodontal disease exactly, and is it reversible? Our Rock Hill dental professional offers answers to your questions here.
#1: What Is Periodontal Disease & How Do You Get It?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and surrounding tissue caused by the buildup of plaque, a film on the teeth that harbors bacteria. The first stage is gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that causes discomfort and bleeding. If gingivitis isn’t treated in time, the bacteria start to migrate below the gum line.
As the disease progresses, bacteria damage the support between the gum and teeth. Left untreated, the bacteria continue downward, destroying the gum, tooth root, and bone. Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss.
#2: Is This Condition Reversible?
Thankfully, if the disease is in the early stages, it can be reversible! Gingivitis is the most treatable stage; returning to brushing and flossing twice a day and getting regular dental cleanings is generally effective in reversing this condition. If you notice that your gums are swollen or bleed when you brush, keep up with hygiene, and schedule an appointment with our dentist.
Even early stages past gingivitis are treatable. However, in advanced cases, it’s possible that there is already permanent damage to the bones that support the teeth. This damage cannot be reversed, but it can be prevented by caring for your teeth and gums!
#3: How Is it Treated?
Our dentist or hygienist will perform periodontal scaling, which is a deep cleaning that removes plaque below the gum line. Root planing is then used to smooth the root, encouraging the gum to reattach to the tooth. You may also be given an antibacterial mouthwash after your deep cleanings.
It’s important to stick with your hygiene routine while being treated. With good care, you should be able to get your early-stage periodontitis under control!