Can Periodontal Disease Be Reversed?
As with all serious health conditions, early detection and intervention is key to successfully treating periodontal disease (i.e., gum disease). If periodontal disease is detected and treated in its early stages, this disease can be reversed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50 percent of individuals in the United States who are over 30 years of age have periodontal disease (with 9 percent of them having severe periodontitis).
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are four stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis; mild periodontitis; moderate periodontitis and severe periodontitis.
– the initial stages of gum disease can be painless; therefore, knowing the other symptoms associated with gingivitis is vital to early detection: These symptoms may include inflammation, bleeding gums and/or halitosis (i.e., persistent bad breath). If gingivitis goes untreated, it may advance to the mildest form of periodontal disease.
– Dr. William P. Lamas usually recommends a professional dental cleaning, improved at-home dental hygiene and oral rinses.
Mild Periodontitis (Early Periodontal Disease)
– this second-stage of gum disease may cause increased tenderness and bleeding from the gums. The gum tissue and bone are now being attacked, while the damage that has already been done cannot be reversed, seeking treatment at this stage can prevent further damage.
Treating Mild Periodontal Disease at Lamas Dental Specialists
– Dr. William P. Lamas may recommend a Root Planing and Scaling procedure. During this procedure, the tartar and plaque that has built up beneath the gum line is removed. To ensure patients remain comfortable throughout the procedure, local anesthetic is provided.
– the gums have begun separating from the teeth. This separation allows the plaque to begin building up at the roots, bone and supporting fibers of the tooth. Pain may be noticeable while chewing and the gums may appear discolored (purple or bright red). Once this stage of periodontal disease develops, there is irreversible damage occurring to the soft tissue and bone. The pockets forming beneath the gum line trap food and plaque, providing bacteria a perfect environment for continued growth. Although the current damage cannot be reversed, seeking treatment right away will prevent further damage.
Treating Moderate Periodontitis
– at this stage, an improved daily oral-hygiene regimen and the implementation of biannual cleanings will be recommended. Furthermore, periodontal plastic surgery may be able to eliminate the pockets that have formed beneath the gum line.
– the development of pus around the gums and teeth is evident, a receding gum line as well as unstable teeth are all symptoms of severe periodontitis.
Treating Severe Periodontitis
– if periodontal disease reaches this stage, serious problems may result, including the development of a substantial amount of decay, loss of bone in the jaw as well as the loss of teeth. An experienced periodontist has a variety of procedures available that can be used to restore the gums and the lost teeth. Some of the treatments that Dr. Lamas offers at his office in Miami include the AlloDerm® Regenerative Tissue Matrix and the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure® (LANAP®) as well as the revolutionary Pinhole Surgical Technique™.
Revolutionary Treatment Options, Explained
AlloDerm® is designed to repair areas that have been damaged by periodontal disease. AlloDerm® consists of a synthetic material that is created out of donated human tissue. This material is used to repair the damaged soft-tissue and stimulate cell growth to promote healing. During a LANAP™ session, Dr. Lamas uses a specially-designed laser to remove the unhealthy soft-tissue in the patient’s mouth. The Pinhole Surgical Technique™ (PST) is a minimally-invasive treatment that is used to reverse gingival recession without the need for sutures or grafting.
After each of these procedures, to ensure the patient enjoys optimal results, it is imperative that he or she follow Dr. William P. Lamas’ instructions.
The Importance of Biannual Cleanings and Exams
If tartar is not removed, it provides a place for bacteria to multiply; thus, promoting the development of gum disease. Once plaque becomes calculus (tartar), it has adhered to the teeth and can only be removed by a dental professional.
Remember to Schedule Your Annual Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation (CPE)
Besides biannual dental cleanings and exams, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) also recommends that adults undergo a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation (CPE) every year. During a CPE, the health of the gums, teeth, bone structure and bite will all be evaluated.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Brush and Floss Daily
A daily routine of brushing and flossing goes a long way in reducing the likelihood of developing gum disease. Brush twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-Approved toothpaste that contains fluoride. Each brushing session should total two minutes. Be sure to brush the inner, outer and chewing surface of each tooth as well as the tongue. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months or once they begin to fray.
Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from in between the teeth. Using about 18-inches of floss, wrap all except about two inches evenly around your middle fingers. Firmly hold the floss with your thumbs and your index fingers. Move between each tooth in an up-and-down motion, making sure to cradle the base of each tooth just below the gum line by curving around it. Use a new section of floss for each tooth. Remove the floss using the same up-and-down motion.
Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet
A strong immune system can help reverse gum disease and a nutrition-rich diet boosts the immune system. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends a diet that is rich in meat, fruit, fish, vegetables, whole-grain and dairy products.
Stimulate Saliva Production
Saliva washes away the bacteria on the gums and teeth; therefore, if an individual has a dry mouth, these bacteria are not being washed away. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva production. In addition, an anti-bacterial mouthwash can eliminate oral bacteria.
When the signs of early gingivitis are present, a patient may be able to reverse the condition by adhering to a strict oral health regimen; however, if problems persist even after starting this regimen, wait no more than a week to seek treatment from an experienced periodontist.
Smokers are more susceptible to gingivitis and, once gingivitis develops, the inflamed gums have difficulty healing if the individual continues to smoke.
Healthy gums are essential for strong, well-anchored teeth; therefore, if it is time for your dental cleaning and exam, contact Lamas Dental Specialists at 305-440-4114. If you are not due for these services, consider scheduling your annual CPE with one of Miami’s premiere periodontists, Dr. William P. Lamas.