How to reverse gingivitis ?

According to The American Academy Of Periodontology, half of American adults suffer from gum disease. Another study showed that over 90% of the world's population have chronic gingivitis to some degree.

Gingivitis is one of the most common diseases in the world, the leading cause of adults tooth loss, and like any other disease, gingivitis evolves if it has not been treated and can turn into periodontitis.
There are 3 stages:
    early stage of gingivitis
  • Early stage: This is the beginning of gingivitis. Bacteria in the mouth and especially from the plaque irritate the gums by releasing toxins. Inflammation will occur causing a change of color and may be associated with bleeding during brushing and flossing. At this stage, good dental hygiene is enough to reverse gingivitis..
  • Second stage of gum disease
  • Advanced stage: At this stage, the inflammation is more severe. The swelling and redness of the gums are more noticeable, the gums tend to bleed on their own. At this stage, gingivitis is still reversible since the lesion is limited to the gingiva and has not reached deep tissues.
  • third stage of gum disease
  • More advanced stage:
    At this stage, the bone and the fibers that hold the teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Pockets that are manifested by the widening of the space between the tooth and the gum can be formed.
    Pockets are an environment where food and plaque will store, causing the destruction of tissues that attach the tooth to the bone. Teeth no longer supported will move or become mobile, causing their fall.
    Appropriate treatment and improved oral hygiene can reduce the complications of the disease.

How do I know if I am suffering from reversible gingivitis ?

All severe periodontitis (irreversible gum disease) are preceded by gingivitis. In gingivitis, inflammation is limited to the gum.
Once the deep periodontium is reached, you are no longer in the stage where gingivitis can be reversible.

A visual examination is sufficient to detect gingivitis; If your gums bleed when flossing, brushing, or simply when you bite into an apple, it's the early signs of gingivitis. Usually, optimal oral hygiene is enough to reverse it, but, for better control, I recommend visiting your dentist.
reversible and no reversible gingivitis
As long as the signs are limited to the gum, the damage is reversible. It can be treated with a good oral hygiene.

How to reverse gingivitis ?

Dental plaque is made up of different types of bacteria that establish connections between them in order to survive and increase their virulence factor. It must be eliminated before any treatment because it is considered the main factor of gingivitis.
A good control of plaque makes it possible to reverse gingivitis. It allows the gum to regain its normal appearance and prevent gingivitis from becoming irreversible periodontitis.
If you notice that your gum is abnormal (if your gums bleed when flossing, brushing, or simply when you bite into an apple), it is probably the early stage of gingivitis.
The first thing you need to think about is to eliminate the bacterial plaque. I recommend you to:
  • Brush your teeth 2 times a day for at least 3 minutes, with a good brushing technique and a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid hurting your gum. Brushing prevents the film that covers the teeth from becoming plaque, which is more difficult to remove.
  • Floss your teeth once a day. Flossing helps you to eliminate 30% of the remaining plaque between the teeth, inaccessible to brushing. You can also use an interdental brush if your teeth are not tight. Oral irrigator will also be effective. A study has shown that oral irrigator reduces inflammation of the gums.
  • Ask your dentist if you should use a mouthwash. The mouthwash is an antiseptic solution that eliminates aggressive bacteria from our mouth responsible for gingivitis. But the mouthwash should not be used continuously, hence the importance of seeking the advice of your dentist.
  • Stop smoking. Tobacco is a risk factor for gum disease. Smokers present compared to non-smokers:
    • 6 times more risk of develop gum disease.
    • More periodontal pockets (advanced sign of periodontal diseases).
    • More gum recessions (the exposure in the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue).
    • More bone loss
    • More dental loss
    • Less gum bleeding (which can hide early signs of gum disease)
    Stopping smoking improves periodontal health.
  • Control your general health. Some diseases aggravate gingivitis especially diabetes, some infections and hormonal modifications.
  • Irreversible gum disease

    If gingivitis is revealed only with visual examination, it is not always the case for periodontitis which represents the advanced stage of gingivitis. The lesion is not limited to the gum; it has reached the deep tissues of the teeth, loss of the attachment system of the tooth, bone loss, periodontal pockets, gingival recessions. This will result in tooth mobility and tooth loss.

    Diagnosis will be based on radiographic examination to assess the condition of the bone and the attachment system of the tooth. The depth of the pocket is also examined to know the stage of the lesion.
    The transition between gingivitis (reversible) and periodontitis (irreversible) is possible if no action is considered at the first signs.
    Therefore, care should be taken at the first signs of gum inflammation (redness, swelling, bleeding, pain) to prevent progression of the lesion and deep tissue damage.

    Different factors contribute to the irreversibility of gum disease.

    Factors that contribute to the irreversibility of gum disease

    Sometimes, It is difficult to remove the plaque, especially the subgingival plaque that is inaccessible to brushing. In this case, only your dentist will be able to eliminate it by descaling and root planing.
    However, we do not always realize that we have plaque. That's why you have to visit your dentist once or twice a year. He alone can eliminate plaque already formed.