Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a progressive bacterial infection that starts with inflammation of the gums and, if not treated, progresses to destroying the gum tissue. It’s a serious problem in the United States, with nearly 50% of adults over 30 having mild-to-severe symptoms. It’s also the leading cause of tooth loss.
At Riverdale Dental Arts, Dr. Sheldon Kupferman and his team are committed to maintaining the oral health of their patients in the Bronx, New York area with comfort and superior service, as they have for over 30 years. That’s why they offer several treatments for gum disease. Is there a way to reverse inflammation once it gets started? Here’s their response.
Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist twice a year for professional cleanings is a sure way to preserve your oral health. However, if you get a bit lax in your dental hygiene routine, you open the door for bacteria to wreak havoc.
Bacteria consume the sugar from food debris, forming a sticky plaque on your teeth and gums. The plaque irritates the gum tissue, causing tenderness, redness, and gums that bleed when you brush them. This is the initial stage of gum disease, called gingivitis.
If you don’t treat gingivitis, the plaque becomes a hard tartar that extends below the gum line, producing additional inflammation. Gingivitis then turns into periodontitis, a more severe form of disease in which the bacteria produce toxins that irritate and damage the gums further.
The gums swell, turn a darker red color, become painful when chewing, and start to pull back (recede) from the tooth roots. Recession creates pockets where bacteria and tartar continue to build up, perpetuating the problem.
If you still don’t treat the underlying infection, the gums can pull away completely from the tooth roots, leaving them exposed. They become sensitive to heat, cold, and acidic/spicy foods, and the gums’ attachment to the connective tissue holding the teeth in place weakens. Permanent teeth loosen and may even fall out. And the persistent infection destroys both the gum and underlying bone tissue.
Healthy gums should be firm, pale pink, and fit snugly around the tooth roots. Signs of gingivitis include:
If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kupferman. The sooner you get professional care, the better your chances of reversing any damage that’s been done.
So, can you reverse gum inflammation? That’s a resounding yes, provided you see your dentist.
Dr. Kupferman addresses the inflammation and other symptoms of gum disease with a deep, professional dental cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. It removes all traces of plaque, tartar, and bacterial components and byproducts.
The scaling portion removes tartar and bacteria from the surfaces of teeth and from below the gum line. Root planing smooths the root surfaces, eliminating bacterial byproducts created from the inflammation and discouraging further buildup. This allows the gums to heal.
Depending on how advanced the infection is, you may or may not need an anesthetic for the procedure. If you feel the need for one, speak up, and we’ll be happy to oblige.
Dr. Kupferman may also start you on antibiotic therapy to address the underlying infection. That gives your gums the downtime they need to start healing the tissue.
If you notice any of the signs of gum inflammation, it’s important to come into Riverdale Dental Arts for a professional deep cleaning to reverse the problem instead of allowing it to progress.
To schedule an appointment, call the office at 845-479-6927, or book online with us today.