In order to reverse periodontal disease, brushing twice daily and flossing every day, rinsing with mouthwash and use of an inter-dental brush are all required.
Your dental hygienist or periodontist can use scalers and curettes and other specialized scraping instruments to get rid of dental plaque and calculus around teeth and below gum-line. However, it is difficult to induce the body to repair bone and reverse periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacterial toxins and enzymes destroy the connective tissue and bone of your gums. The roots of the teeth are exposed as the gums draw back.
Plaque forms in the pocket between the tooth and the gum as it deepens, and it is very difficult to remove. Pus develops between the teeth and the gums as the gums pull away, and the permanent teeth become loose in their sockets.
According to a 2006 study, gum disease can start early in children with diabetes. Some studies suggest that treating periodontal disease may help improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes.
Studies continue to support a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Periodontal disease can also increase the risks for pre-term birth, low birth weight infants, and preeclampsia.
Certain things can make you more likely to develop periodontal disease. For instance, if you wear braces, fending off plaque can be tougher.
Too little sleep, a poor diet and too much stress can leave you vulnerable to infection anywhere in the body, including your gums. Women have a higher risk of gum disease than men. For severe – and early – gum problems, though, the real bad guy is tobacco.
According to a major survey, more than 75% of American adults have some form of gum disease, but only 60% have any significant knowledge about the problem. Some of the causes are:
- Lack of oral hygiene
- Too much sugar and acid in the diet
- Poorly contoured restorations
- Anatomical tooth abnormalities
The good news is that although it is difficult to reverse periodontal disease, in most people the disease is preventable. A number of products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically to identify and treat gum disease, and even restore lost bone.
Dental Officer in the FDA’s dermatological and dental drug products division, Frederick N. Hyman, D.D.S., says that because people seem to be paying more attention to oral hygiene as part of personal grooming, the payoff is “a decline in gingivitis over recent years.”