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Is there a cure for chronic periodontitis?

If your dentist has said that you have long-term, or chronic, periodontitis, this means that your gum disease has gotten to a stage in which the bacteria living in your mouth have invaded and infected the tissues around your teeth. The gum tissue actually pulls away from the teeth, leaving behind spaces called "pockets" that can easily become infected. This kind of infection may not be able to be reversed or "cured" but may be treated to prevent further damage.

One way to deal with long-term periodontitis is with special cleaning procedures done by your dentist, called scaling and root planing. Scaling and planing procedures help remove the tartar and bacteria that lead to periodontitis. Other treatment options may involve antibiotic gels, antibiotic tablets taken by mouth, and enzyme suppressants, which are medicines used to lower the amount of enzymes produced by your body that may destroy gum tissue.

In severe cases of chronic periodontitis, you may have to have surgery to open up the infected pockets (flap surgery) or to help promote bone and gum growth (bone and tissue grafts).
Early medical intervention, combined with good teeth cleaning habits, can effectively treat chronic periodontitis. Once the condition has been treated, good dental care, like frequent brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouth wash, may prevent the condition from recurring. Nonsmokers respond better to treatments than smokers. However, former smokers can still recover from periodontitis, though with some difficulty.

Once the condition has progressed to advanced stages, however, it may be impossible to reverse damages like tooth loss or tooth migration that has already occurred.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.