Can you cure gum disease?


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Oral Hygiene and Dental Therapy
BOH (Adel)

In addressing this question it’s important to first define the term cure.

A cure is the relief of symptoms of a disease or a condition. In relation to gum disease, the answer is yes; a cure (in this sense) is possible. However, the matter is complicated by the constant presence and growth of plaque and bacteria in the oral cavity (the primary cause of gum disease). That’s why gum disease treatment is better described as ongoing maintenance, rather than a cure – and this requires an active ongoing relationship with your dental practitioner.

Understanding the term gum disease is also very important.

The two main types are gingivitis and periodontitis. It is imperative to know which of these wordy conditions you are diagnosed with, as that will determine your specific gum disease treatment.

Gingivitis is the process of inflammation of the gum tissues caused by dental plaque; periodontitis is the same inflammation, with the addition of destruction of bone and ligaments. This is a more serious condition as the bone and ligaments are what hold teeth in place. The more advanced the gum disease, the greater the risk of mobile teeth, bad breath or even tooth loss. When bone is lost through gum disease it cannot be grown back.

The treatment of gingivitis focuses strongly on the individual’s at-home plaque removal, which is often as easy as brushing and flossing twice a day. Another factor to consider is tartar or calculus; these are the hard deposits on teeth that cannot be removed at home. When tartar is present in the mouth gingivitis is almost inevitable. Having it removed with a thorough scale and clean would be the first step in managing this gum condition.

Periodontitis is also treated with very diligent at-home plaque removal and professional tarter removal. Our hygienists will formulate an individual oral care routine and thoroughly remove the tarter that is found above and below the gums. This can take multiple visits and often requires a shorter recall period. For moderate to severe cases the best results will be achieved by a referral to our in-house periodontist (gum specialist).

With any type of gum disease, frequent hygiene and dental visits are required for ongoing dental health maintenance.

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*The contents of this blog post are of a general nature only and may not apply to your specific circumstances. As every person is different we always recommend that you visit a qualified dental practitioner to obtain tailored dental advice to suit your own specific needs.

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