Gum disease, if left untreated, will result in bone loss which can lead to tooth loss.

Many people wonder, “Is gingivitis permanent?” or “Is periodontal disease curable?” It’s common to have these questions, especially if you think you might have gum disease.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the stages of gum disease, what to do when you have gum decay, and answering the question, “Is gum disease repairable?”

Ready to learn the best ways to fight gum disease?

Keep reading to learn all about which form of periodontal disease is reversible and get answers to questions like, “What happens when you get gum disease?”

What’s Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease is progressive, meaning it starts slowly and gets worse over time. There are two stages of gum disease: 

1. Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease that affects the gums at the base of your teeth. Symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Dark red gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath

Poor oral health is the leading cause of gingivitis. When you don’t brush or floss regularly, bacteria grow and multiply on your teeth. These bacteria can infiltrate and irritate your gums.

Gingivitis can be subtle, and you may not know you have it. It’s best to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular dental check-ups.

2. Periodontitis

Periodontitis (or periodontal disease) is an advanced form of gingivitis that requires more rigorous treatment than gingivitis. It often affects your gums, jaw bone, and tooth root. 

Periodontitis can break down the tissue and bone that supports your teeth, causing teeth to become loose and move around in your mouth. When periodontitis progresses too far, it can result in teeth falling out or the need for teeth to be pulled.

The best defense against periodontitis is recognizing it early, practicing good early hygiene, and contacting your dentist.

What Happens When You Get Gum Disease?

People have many questions when they hear they have gingivitis or periodontal disease. Common questions are:

  • Can you recover from gum disease?
  • Is gum disease permanent?
  • Is gum recession reversible?

We’ve compiled a list of the top questions people ask and provide you with professional answers. 

Is gingivitis permanent?

The first question people ask when they hear they have gum disease is, “Is gum disease reversible?”

Thankfully, gingivitis doesn’t have to be permanent and is reversible. The key to reversing gingivitis is an excellent oral routine, which means:

  • Brushing twice a day (with an electric toothbrush if possible!) 
  • Flossing every day
  • Rinsing daily with an antibacterial mouthwash (e.g., Listerine)
  • Seeing your dentist regularly

Gingivitis can also be heightened by eating and drinking sugary things. Cutting out candy, soda, or other unhealthy snacks can help get gingivitis under control.

If you suspect you have gingivitis, it’s best to contact your dentist. They can provide tips for cleaning your teeth and gums. Your dentist may also prescribe a special toothpaste or mouthwash to combat gingivitis.

Is periodontal disease curable?

Periodontal disease can be treated but technically not “cured.” Even after a dentist helps you get rid of periodontal disease, there’s a chance it returns if you don’t practice good oral hygiene. 

When gingivitis becomes periodontitis, your dentist will:

  • Measure the depth between your gums move
  • Take an x-ray to check for bone loss and build up below the gums
  • Examine the overall health of your mouth

These three actions give your dentist insight into the severity of your periodontal disease.

If your condition isn’t too advanced, your dentist will perform a procedure called scaling and root planing (SRP). Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from tooth surfaces and beneath gums. Root planing involves smoothing root surfaces to discourage further tartar and bacteria buildup.

If you have an advanced case of periodontitis, you may need a surgical procedure like soft tissue or bone grafts. Soft tissue grafts replace or reinforce your gums. 

A bone graft is performed when your tooth root is destroyed. This procedure helps prevent tooth loss and promotes bone growth.

Is gum recession reversible?

Gum recession can occur because of untreated gum disease.

In the early stages of gum recession, your dentist can perform SRP to remove all the tartar and build up around the gums. SRP will create a healthy space for gums to reattach to the tooth. Starting a good oral routine will help prevent gingivitis from returning and for keeping your gums healthy.

Unfortunately, once gum loss has occurred, gum tissue cannot regrow on its own and a gum graft would be needed to restore the recession. A gum graft involves a Periodontist (gum doctor specialist) taking gum tissue from another part of your mouth and attaching it to the tooth or teeth experiencing gum recession.

Where to Get Expert Help with Gum Disease

In its early stages, gum disease is easily treatable. Your dentist can guide you through treatment and provide helpful brushing and flossing tips to get your gingivitis under control. They can also help remove the buildup of plaque and tartar during cleanings.  

However, leaving gum disease untreated can give rise to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe gum disease that requires more serious treatment. Thankfully, you can treat it if you recognize it early and contact your dentist.

Whether you’re at the beginning stages of gingivitis or you think you may have periodontitis, it’s never too late (or early!) to see your dentist. 

Looking for expert dental assistance?

At Northside Dental Co., we’re experts at treating and preventing gum disease. We have state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained staff ready to provide you with professional dental help and advice. 

Book your appointment online or give us a call to start the process toward a cleaner smile.