About half of all American adults have gum disease. Around the world, 20 to 50 percent of the population have periodontal disease. Experts continue to emphasize the importance of good oral and dental hygiene as one of the cornerstones to the prevention of gum disease. But for those who already have the disease, is it possible to reverse it? Dentists believe you can. The key here is to control bacteria that cause gum disease.
Everything starts with bacterial action on the tissues of the gums. Bacteria and other germs are ever-present in the oral cavity. You can find them in the saliva, the teeth, the tongue, and other structures in the oral cavity. They do not cause an infection, however, since they are where they are. That’s why scientists call them the normal flora of the oral cavity.
The issue is that these germs also produce different substances like biofilm or plaque. This substance is hard enough to protect the germs hiding underneath it. With this protective layer, bacteria are able to grow and multiply until they reach the gum line.
Upon reaching the gums, bacteria induce inflammation in a process we call gingivitis. Many individuals mistake gingivitis as periodontitis. It is not. However, you can always consider it as a precursor to gum disease.
If allowed to continue without treatment, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis or gum disease. This occurs because of the continuous spread of bacteria towards the inner and deeper tissues of the gums. Bacteria release toxins which damage the surrounding tissues. You can think of these toxins as the chemical equivalent of a wrecking ball. They destroy the different structures in both the teeth and the gums.
The result is the separation of the gum from the teeth. This separation leads to the formation of pockets that can become excellent breeding grounds for other microorganisms. Food particles and debris can also collect in these pockets, giving bacteria the food they need to thrive.
The immune system will try to neutralize these bacteria by sending antibodies and other cells that fight infection. These cells also try to neutralize the toxins. Unfortunately, their activity can also lead to further destruction of the tissues in the affected site. This means that the connective tissues that hold the teeth in place also get damaged. The bone can also get damaged because of the combined action of toxins and immune system cells.
Over time, the pockets grow deeper. More and more bone and gum tissues get destroyed. With the continuous destruction of these tissues, there will no longer be adequate support for the tooth. This is the time when the person can lose his or her tooth.
It is easy to see why controlling bacteria can reverse gum disease. The progression of gum disease starts with the formation of plaque by bacteria. If you can stop this process, then you can facilitate the reversal of gum disease.
This is where antibacterial formulation can come in. These products feature ingredients with known antibacterial properties.
One of the products that are growing in popularity is OraMD. This formulation comes as a liquid toothpaste and contains peppermint and spearmint essential oils. Both of these natural ingredients are proven in clinical studies to have antibacterial properties. One OraMD Extra Strength review highlights the benefits of the product. The review says that OraMD can help eliminate periodontal bacteria while also helping fight bad breath and plaque buildup.
Of course, there are other products in the market that can help neutralize bacteria in the oral cavity. These can also contain natural ingredients that have similar antimicrobial effects. They can also provide anti-inflammatory benefits which can help hasten the reversal of gum disease.
One might think of taking antibiotics as a means of fighting gum disease-causing bacteria. They work, too. However, many dentists are wary of developing drug resistance. As such, they don’t recommend the use of antibiotics unless necessary. There are also potential side effects to the use of antibiotics.
Gum disease starts with the action of bacteria on the teeth. This spreads to the gums. If left unchecked, it can spread deeper in the gums until it also affects the bone. Controlling bacteria can, thus, help prevent gum disease and facilitate its reversal.