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HELP: Gums look worn, spongy after hygiene hiatus
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HELP: Gums look worn, spongy after hygiene hiatus

This year has been a very difficult one for me. I became severely depressed and stopped taking care of myself quite a bit. While I pride in the fact that, through it, I was able to maintain a 3.9 GPA in college, I am ashamed to say I practically stopped brushing my teeth entirely for a month or two.

My bottom teeth frighten me the most. While the teeth themselves are not terribly yellow, the gums appear a bit worn or swollen and might could be considered spongy. I can't really tell if the gums are receding; if so, they haven't done so noticeably. They are not red, but my bottom (front and center) teeth feel a little "off." Not loose per se, but perhaps a bit "tingly." My gums do bleed some when I brush them as well.

Recently, scared, I realized the effects of my negligence and self-depreciation. I hate what I might have done to myself, but am trying my hardest to get my life back in order. Hopefully, with the least possible permanent damages.

I am only 19. I realize wonders can be done within the realm of cosmetic dentistry. I just want to know whether or not I have let myself submit to full blown periodontal disease, and whether or not I can fix this without surgery or false dental implants for eventual tooth loss?
What can I do to help this? Will it ever go back to normal?

Please, please, please help.
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It depends on the extent of the damage down by the periodontal disease.  It would be most important to go to your dentist for a checkup and a proper cleaning to remove all the excess tartar and plaque.  Then you need to maintain your oral hygiene to prevent any further damage to the gums.  If you maintain your hygiene, you can maintain the health of your gums for years to come along with proper dental checkup and maintenance.  It all depends on the extent of the damage.  If your gums are resilient enough, it may just be gingivitis which is completely reversible.
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I have been very religious in my recent care! The teeth are very white and the bottom few have stopped feeling persistently strange; they only feel a bit off on occasion. Everything looks a bit better, and certainly feels a bit better. However, I don't have a scheduled dentist appointment until late July.
I can't remember if my gums have always looked this way or not. I cannot tell if any gingival recession has occurred in places.
I'm afraid to wait so long.

I thought gingivitis involved mostly redness and bleeding. Can any recession occur within the realm of gingivitis? And, if so, is it possible for the gums to return to their proper position upon restored care and professional cleaning?

If it does turn out to be periodontitis, does this not entail multiple dentist appointments per year, and the eventual loss of teeth and gum recession earlier than it might have without the undue hiatus in care?
Are there ever complications with scaling and root planing?

(My apologies for the breadth of questions.)

As of August 2008, my last cleaning, I have never had a cavity. I'm not sure if this speaks to the resilience of my gums, but my oral health has never before been problematic...... Hopefully this will be enough to have kept me from irreversible damage.

(And...Thank you for your earlier response!!!!)
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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