Is Gum Disease Permanent?

One of the more common issues that a dentist may see is gum disease. In fact, nearly half of adults over the age of 30 show some signs of gum disease. If you are unfamiliar with gum disease, you may not know how serious it can be. Many people are only aware of it as a condition that you may want to avoid. But, one question often lingers: is gum disease permanent? 

Is Gum Disease Permanent?

Gum Disease in Focus: Understanding the Basics

There are several factors that can lead to gum disease. However, the most common reason a person may develop gum disease is poor oral hygiene. For many, gum disease begins with the buildup of plaque–a sticky film of bacteria. The plaque will interact with the food you consume, creating acid. Over time, this acid will eat away at your enamel, causing tooth decay. 

Additionally, plaque will continue to build between your teeth and underneath your gum line. Without removal, it will start to irritate the soft, sensitive tissues of your gums. Eventually, the gums will become inflamed and recede. The plaque will solidify into tartar, making it difficult to remove. In fact, you need a professional to remove tartar properly. 

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease is not a huge issue immediately. It gets worse as you continue without treatment. If you catch it in the early stage, you can generally go without major consequences. However, you will have some major difficulties as it progresses. 

Gingivitis: The Early Stage

Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. This is where you may notice redness or swelling of your gums. Additionally, you may see some bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth. You might not even notice the symptoms at all in this stage. Therefore, it is vital to see your dentist regularly. They will be able to identify the symptoms of gum disease before it damages your oral health. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with prompt treatment and improved oral hygiene.

Periodontitis: The Advanced Stage

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. This is a more severe form of gum disease. During this stage, pockets form between the teeth and gum. These pockets trap bacteria, causing further damage. When the gums recede, it creates more room for plaque and tartar to build. Over time, the bone and tissues supporting the teeth may also begin to deteriorate.

The Power of Intervention: Treatment Options

Luckily, you can reverse your gum issues with early intervention. This is because gingivitis is not a permanent condition. It is more of a warning sign that you need to make some changes. If you make changes to your daily oral hygiene routine, you can undo the damage of gingivitis. You can restore your gum health with daily flossing and brushing. Also, you need to see your dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings. 

When gum disease advances to periodontitis, you need to seek immediate intervention. With periodontitis, the damage is not fully reversible. However, you can halt its progress.  Your dentist can perform scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the pockets. This will reduce swelling and slow down the damage.

In more advanced cases of gum disease, you may need surgical procedures to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. These procedures aim to restore the structures that support your teeth.