Gum disease is a common type of infection in the gum tissue that affects about half of American adults. Though prevalent, many people do not realize that gum disease will not go away on its own. They need periodontal therapy from a dentist to eradicate the infection.
If left untreated, gum disease can wreak serious havoc on your oral health. You can see lasting damage affecting the structure and appearance of your smile, even after treating the infection.
However, if you understand the potential consequences of gum disease, you can better fight the dangers and preserve the look of your smile. Read on to learn about three cosmetic concerns that can develop from gum disease and how your dentist can treat them.
Reduce Swelling in Gums
Gum disease occurs when natural bacteria in your mouth reach the gum tissue. Bacteria irritate the tissue, causing inflammation that can leave you with bleeding, soreness, and swelling in the gums. Not only can this feel uncomfortable, but you might also feel self-conscious about a puffy appearance in the gums.
Fortunately, this inflammation will go away when your dentist treats gum disease. Periodontal therapy will involve thorough cleaning and clearing away excess bacteria, especially deep in the gum pockets. Without the harmful bacteria, you can find relief from uncomfortable periodontal symptoms.
Your dentist might also recommend using an antibacterial rinse to keep oral bacteria balanced. This reduces your chance of another infection and will alleviate periodontal discomfort.
Close Gaps Between Teeth
Bacteria can alter your gums, making them swell as well as recede while eating away at the tissue. These changes in your gums may make your teeth shift out of their straight alignment too. You might see teeth form gaps, including tricky black triangles, after your dentist treats gum disease.
You might feel unhappy about the way these gaps appear in your smile, but misaligned teeth also pose a risk to your dental health. Gaps can create food traps, meaning food will more likely get stuck in your teeth. This can heighten your chances of tooth decay and may leave you with bad breath.
A dentist can use cosmetic dental solutions to fix small alignment issues in your teeth. Tooth bonding, for instance, involves a dentist using composite resin to fill in gaps. The resin hardens for long-lasting results. And you can appreciate that the tooth-colored material will blend in with your natural smile for a beautiful finish.
Replace Missing Teeth
Advanced gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adult dental patients. Bacteria will spread from the gum tissue if the infection remains untreated. Then you can see extensive damage in the teeth and jawbone as well.
This can cause the teeth to fall out of the sockets, and you will still be left with missing teeth after your dentist treats the infection. You may feel uncomfortable with gaps in your smile where you lost a tooth. And missing teeth will put your oral health in danger of additional complications. So you should talk to your dentist about tooth replacement solutions.
You can find maximum oral health benefits with dental implants replacing lost teeth in your smile. But you will need to consult your dentist to learn if you qualify for this tooth replacement in the wake of gum disease damage.