Gum disease is a tricky problem to address. In the early stages, you can potentially reverse gum disease yourself, through proper care and oral hygiene. However, if it goes on for too long and progresses, it's only possible for a dentist to stop gum disease. If you think you have gum disease and want to know whether you can stop it yourself, read on to learn which type of gum disease you have and whether it's self-treatable or not.
What's Reversible and What Isn't
The earliest form of gum disease is called gingivitis. Chances are you've heard of gingivitis, as many oral hygiene products are marketed towards the idea of preventing and reversing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the form of gum disease that you can control and even reverse personally.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is like the meaner, grown-up version of gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated, it will eventually become periodontitis. At this stage, there's nothing you can do to stop or reverse the gum disease, and it will continue to spread and worsen if you don't visit a dentist.
The Difference Between The Two
Now that you know which of the two can be treated at home, it's important to be able to distinguish between the two diseases.
Gingivitis is the stage where you'll probably notice that you're developing gum disease. Gingivitis usually causes sore, puffy gums, that may recede slightly over the top of your teeth. However, the receding may be quite minor, and you may not even notice it. In addition, your gums may bleed when you brush or floss.
Periodontitis tends to have more severe forms of the same symptoms. For example, gums recede far more when you have periodontitis, revealing more of the tooth. Your gums may change colors, becoming a deeper red, and they may bleed frequently, even if you're not touching them.
Caring For Gum Disease
If you have the early stage of gum disease, flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash will help to stop it in its tracks. The gums can still heal themselves at this point if they are freed of plaque buildup and food debris that traps bacteria under the gumline. Keep in mind that if you have gingivitis, seeing a dentist for a regular check-up is still recommended.
If you have periodontitis, you must visit a dentist. Periodontitis can potentially infect the roots of your teeth and even spread through your bloodstream, which could make you extremely ill. It's not to be taken lightly, so see a dentist immediately if you suspect you have this form of gum disease.
With proper oral care, you can prevent gum disease entirely. Make sure that you visit your dentist, someone like Bradley T Piotrowski DDS MSD LLC, for regular check-ups to help keep gum disease from ever happening in the first place.