August 2, 2022
For those who are unhappy with the state of their smile, cosmetic dentistry can offer many available solutions for enhancing both the look and feel of your pearly whites. But in some instances, patients can’t receive cosmetic dental work until they’ve undergone periodontal therapy to clear up their gum disease! Here’s more from your dentist about what causes gum disease and why it needs to be treated before you can receive cosmetic treatment.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an infection that can greatly impact your smile—and not in a good way. It’s estimated that roughly half of all American adults have some form of periodontal disease, making it a very widespread oral health issue. It can result in the loss of teeth, bone, and gum tissue. Common symptoms include things like chronic bad breath, sensitive and bleeding gums, a receding gumline, loose teeth, and discolored gums.
One of the most common causes of gum disease is poor oral hygiene; neglecting to brush and floss gives food debris and cavity-causing bacteria a chance to thrive inside your mouth. When this happens, infections can spread to the gums and even beyond, potentially affecting other parts of your body. It can also result from genetics or other extenuating circumstances.
How Does Gum Disease Affect Cosmetic Work?
Regardless of how it’s caused, periodontal disease needs to be completely eradicated before cosmetic dental work can be completed (not to mention, treating periodontal disease is always in the best interest of the patient’s health). Since gum disease can result in issues that directly affect your teeth, it would be pointless to enhance teeth that are still at risk! Certain procedures such as the placement of porcelain veneers can also make it more difficult to detect cavities or signs of disease, so ensuring that the patient’s smile is free from infection before beginning cosmetic work is the best move.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Treating gum disease is possible, although it will depend on how far along it has progressed. If gum disease is identified in its earlier stages (known as gingivitis), it can be treated and the damage can be reversed, as the disease has not yet spread to the jawbone. However, if gum disease is allowed to progress into periodontitis, your teeth and jawbone are at risk! Treatment options include scaling and root planing, which is a technique used to deep clean the gums, as well as gum recontouring.
If you’re interested in enhancing the appearance of your smile with cosmetic dentistry, you should first consider the health of your gums; if gum disease is running rampant, it’s something that’ll need to be cleared up first. Your dentist will be able to assist you with this assessment and determine the best course of action for treating your gums and helping your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Jonathan Ross received his dental doctorate from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, and others. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including periodontal therapy. If you have any questions or concerns about gum disease or would like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Ross through his practice’s website or by phone: (440) 461-6008.
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