Q:

What are some means of reversing gum disease?

A:

Quick Answer

Ways to treat and reverse gum disease include deep cleaning, medications and surgery, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease results from the build up of plague along the gum line and ranges in severity from minor inflammation to the formation of deep pockets in the gums that result in tooth loss.

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Full Answer

Risk factors for gum disease include smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes and other illnesses, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and genetics, according to the NIDCR. The first line of treatment is a method of deep cleaning below and just above the gum line, called scaling and root planing. There are several medications that help fight gum disease, including antimicrobial mouthwashes, antiseptic chips, antibiotic gels, antibiotic microspheres, enzyme suppressants and oral antibiotics.

For advanced cases, surgical treatment helps to restore the damage done by severe gum disease. Flap surgery is a procedure where the gums are lifted, cleaned under and then stitched back in place to fit snugly against the teeth. Bone and tissue grafts are procedures where synthetic bone or tissue is placed in the areas where bone and tissue have been lost to encourage and guide new bone and tissue growth, explains the NIDCR.

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