Gum disease is a terrible thing for a patient to have, but one that you can prevent by maintaining proper oral hygiene. What happens if you don’t brush and floss regularly? Can your gum disease get reversed? At Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry, we often help patients with gum disease. The good news is gum disease is reversible if you take the correct steps.
We can help you reverse your gum disease, but a lot of it depends on you. Without proper oral hygiene, your gum disease will continue to worsen. Let’s explore what gum disease is, how it happens, and how it can be prevented or reversed.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation and breakdown of the tissue around your teeth. It can cause bleeding and pain, but gum disease can lead to tooth loss and even infections over time. Some of the signs of gum disease are:
- Bleeding gums
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness
- Bad breath
- Separating from the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Changes in how dental appliances or partial dentures fit
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease. If you have any of these, contact us right away.
Why Do I Have Gum Disease?
In most cases, gum disease is preventable. Some factors cause gum disease that may be more difficult to control, such as genetics, but it’s not impossible to prevent gum disease.
Some of the reasons why people have gum disease include:
- Bad or neglectful oral hygiene
- Tobacco use
- Crooked teeth that make it difficult to clean
- Certain medications, including cancer drugs and steroids
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Gum disease has several stages. The early stages are reversible, while the later stages are destructive and can result in tooth loss or even bone loss in your jaw.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. That’s when you notice your gums are red, swollen, tender, or even bleeding slightly after you brush. Gingivitis is reversible and can be treated by your dentist, who will provide a good cleaning. Proper oral hygiene will help your gingivitis heal and prevent further gum disease.
Without proper cleaning, periodontitis can result. This is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. This causes the teeth to loosen over time and can lead to tooth loss.
The final stage is advanced periodontitis. This not only can cause tooth loss, but it can cause rapid bone loss in your jaw. Tooth loss and infections can result. Severe gum disease can lead to other health problems, including malnutrition from the inability to eat properly to heart disease and stroke.
How Do I Prevent or Reverse Gum Disease?
It is possible to prevent gum disease. In the early stages, it’s also possible to reverse gum disease. Both situations will depend on you.
The best way to prevent and reverse gum disease is to see your dentist regularly and right away if you start noticing symptoms of gum disease. We can perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums to discover how advanced your gum disease is. We’ll also question you about daily habits, prescription medications, and other factors that might cause gum disease.
When you visit your dentist, we will provide a thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums. Once that is complete, it’s up to you to keep your teeth and gums clean. The best way to do this is to floss your teeth first, then brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes each time.
If you suspect you have gum disease and you live in the Fayetteville, AR, area, contact Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry right away. We may be able to help reverse your gum disease before it becomes more serious and destructive. You can request an appointment with us for a special appointment or just a regular cleaning — and be sure to brush and floss every day!