There are generally three stages of periodontal disease and while two stages are irreversible, the first stage is your opportunity to reverse the condition for a healthier and brighter smile. Keeping your teeth clean and making time for regular professional dental cleanings are crucial for detecting a problem as well as preventing it from forming in the first place. Because nearly 50 percent of adults have periodontitis, it is important to take steps to care for your teeth properly.
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages to gum disease and each comes with its own problems and solutions.
• Gingivitis –
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is completely reversible. By practicing better oral hygiene as well as making time for regular dental cleanings and exams, you can completely reverse gingivitis so that it does not progress into more advanced periodontal disease.
• Mild Periodontitis –
The second stage of periodontal disease involves mild periodontitis where the gums and bone around the teeth begin to separate from the teeth. This can cause bleeding and inflammation of the gums as well as infection and pain. Larger pockets begin to form around the teeth, allowing bacteria to become lodged in these areas and further irritate the gums.
• Advanced Periodontitis –
This is the third and final stage of periodontal disease and is often where the most damage is found. Ligaments have been completely destroyed due to the infection and tooth loss often occurs. Many patients with advanced periodontitis will need to have teeth pulled and a denture placed in order to correct their smile. Bone grafting may need to be performed to replace missing bone at this stage.
Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?
Gum disease can really only be reversed when it is in its first stage, more commonly known as gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, it is important to begin practicing good oral hygiene habits in order to prevent the disease from progressing. Good oral hygiene involves regular brushing, preferably with a power toothbrush, flossing daily and making time for bi-annual dental cleanings. If you currently have mild to advanced periodontitis, there are many procedures and treatment options to slow and even stop the progression of the disease. This is why regular trips to the dentist is so important, as it can help you to receive the treatment that you need to retain a full smile.