What a great question! Unfortunately, it is not one with a simple answer. In order to answer it appropriately, we’ll break the question up into some important aspects. First, can you reverse periodontitis? Next, before you try to reverse periodontitis, can you stop periodontitis? And finally, is it possible to reverse periodontitis, repairing the damage it caused? We will answer each of these in turn so that you get a comprehensive answer to the question.
Can You Reverse Periodontitis?
The general answer to this question is no. You as an individual cannot reverse periodontal disease by yourself once it begins. Treatment by a dental professional is necessary to stop this progressive gum disease. The reason for this lies in the cause of the disease.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory destruction of the tissues surrounding the teeth as a response to bacterial toxins. The bacteria living in dental plaque and tartar buildup release strong toxins into the surrounding bone and gums. Treatment of periodontal disease always begins with removal of all bacterial buildup on the teeth.
Periodontitis develops as bacterial deposits of plaque and tartar accumulate in pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets deepen as the disease progresses. It is impossible for you to reach underneath the gums to remove this toxic buildup. Only dental treatment will do that.
Can You Stop Periodontitis?
You and your dental professionals, working together as a team, can absolutely stop the periodontal disease process. In order to stop periodontitis, you need to not only remove all bacterial buildup through professional dental treatments. You also need to work diligently at home to prevent new buildup.
It can be difficult to stop periodontitis because it is a chronic inflammatory process. Don’t be surprised if your specialist discusses ways you can improve your immune system and fight chronic inflammation as a tactic to fight your gum disease. This may involve certain nutritional adjustments or supplements, or strictly controlling blood sugar levels.
Therapies to fight gum disease often involve the use of antibiotics, as well. This may include an oral antibiotic or an antibacterial mouth rinse. To stop periodontitis, you must control the buildup of bacteria and work to fight chronic inflammation.
Can You Reverse the Damage Caused by Periodontitis?
First, let’s talk about what damage periodontitis causes. When left untreated, periodontitis leads to destruction of the jawbones, ligaments, and gums surrounding the teeth. The teeth themselves may remain completely healthy, but as the supporting structures deteriorate, they can loosen and even fall out. The damage of periodontal disease is progressive in nature. It starts small and gets worse over time.
The sooner you catch periodontal disease, the more likely you are to respond successfully to treatment. In order to reverse periodontitis, you must rebuild what the disease has destroyed. This is not easy to do.
It is possible, in cases of mild periodontal disease, for the human body to rebuild minor areas of damage to a tooth’s supporting structures. Once a person undergoes the necessary treatment to stop the disease process, the body might be able to rebuild.
The more you lose attachment around a tooth, the more difficult it is for your body to successfully rebuild it. In many cases, the goal of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease and maintain the tissues where they are.
In some cases, your periodontal specialist will recommend advanced gum treatments that can improve the success of rebuilding the lost tissues. This may involve procedures like bone and gum grafting.
It is important to understand that reversing periodontitis is difficult, and preventing it is simple.
More Questions about Periodontitis?
Call Rockland Dental Specialists and request a consultation with our periodontal experts. We can answer any question you have about periodontitis, assess your specific situation, and recommend treatments to stop and reverse it when possible.