How Long Can You Keep Your Teeth With Periodontal Disease?

How Long Can You Keep Your Teeth With Periodontal Disease?

Sep 01, 2022

While gum or periodontal disease is preventable, more than half of American adults have had it. Gum disease occurs when the gum tissues become infected or inflamed.

Patients can experience mild to severe symptoms such as inflamed gums, swollen and sore gums, receding gums, loose teeth, tooth loss, abscess, and jawbone loss.

Fortunately, good oral hygiene and habits and regular check-ups can help maintain healthy gums and mouth. Good gum protects you from serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

If you have gum disease, seeking treatment is essential to reverse the infection and prevent further damage.

How Quickly Does Periodontal Disease Progress?

You might have gum disease if you’ve noticed gum bleeding when brushing or eating. Gum disease results from plaque and bacteria build-up due to poor dental hygiene.

When food particles and other debris get trapped in the mouth, they combine with harmful bacteria to form a yellow film deposit called plaque.

If not eliminated on time, plaque accumulates and hardens to form tartar. Over time, these deposits irritate and infect the gum tissues, causing inflammation.

These deposits can also accumulate under the gums, causing gum recession. The infection can spread further, affecting other supportive structures like the jawbone.

Factors like tobacco use, pregnancy, stress, medical conditions like diabetes, certain medications, malnutrition, mouth cancer, and obesity can also increase your risk of gum disease.

Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. Fortunately, it’s reversible if you seek treatment quickly.

Common symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Sore, red, puffy, or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Gum recession
  • Persistent tooth sensitivity
  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Tender gums
  • Pus between the gums and teeth
  • New spaces between teeth
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • A change in bite

If you have gingivitis, make an appointment with a dentist near you right away. The sooner you treat gingivitis, the better your chances of reversing the damage and restoring the health of your gums completely. It will also stop it from advancing to periodontitis.

What Happens if You Don’t Treat Periodontal Disease?

While the initial stages of periodontal disease are considered treatable and reversible, the condition can advance to severe and irreversible without prompt treatment. Over time, the gum tissues begin to pull away from the teeth, forming deep gum pockets where plaque and bacteria build up further.

The pockets can deepen over time, causing further gum tissue damage and damaging the surrounding connective tissues and the underlying bones. Eventually, you can experience loose teeth, teeth movements, and even tooth loss.

Similarly, untreated periodontitis can cause the infection to enter the blood, attacking other body parts like the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It increases your risk of health conditions like coronary artery disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and pneumonia.

Thankfully, regardless of the stage, several gum disease treatment options can help manage your condition and minimize the risk of tooth loss and other issues.

Common treatment procedures include:

  • Scaling and Root Planing

Also known as deep cleaning, the procedure removes plaque and bacteria from the gum pockets and teeth. The teeth’ root surfaces are also smoothened to allow the gums to re-attach to the teeth easily. The treatment can take one or two appointments.

  • Flap surgery

If deep cleaning isn’t effective, you can consider flap surgery. The surgery involves pulling back the gum tissues and cleaning out bacteria and plaque. The gum tissues are placed back to hold onto the teeth snugly.

  • Gingivectomy

This procedure treats receding gums before the damage spreads further to the underlying structures. The procedure entails trimming damaged gum tissue and re-sealing gum tissues to remove deep pockets and prevent re-infection. Gum grafting may be necessary if there is significant gum loss.

Tips for maintaining healthy gums

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Always stay hydrated
  • Eat gum-friendly foods
  • Schedule frequent dental check-ups and cleanings
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Consult your doctor if you have medications that cause dry mouth
  • Manage underlying health conditions like diabetes
  • Brush gently and avoid abrasive oral products

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking for periodontal treatment in San Jose, CA? Contact Neeshat S. Khan, DDS, to begin treatment today.



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