Red, Puffy Gums? Treat It Before Cosmetic Dental Work
You have big plans for your smile. Those chips and stains have bothered you for years, and you’re excited to finally do something about them. But there’s one catch—your gums look puffy and red. Will your cosmetic dentist say you have to undergo periodontal (gum) disease therapy first? Are your gums going to stand between you and your dream smile? Read on to learn more about this condition and how having healthy gums can help you achieve the look you want.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is an inflammatory condition that starts by affecting the gum tissue in the mouth. At first, an oral infection may seem relatively harmless; however, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults around the world. In fact, it accounts for about 70 percent of missing teeth. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is also common—just under 50 percent of American adults over the age of 30 are estimated to have advanced periodontal disease. So if you have this condition, you’re far from being alone.
How Does Periodontal Disease Affect Your Appearance?
In the beginning stage of periodontal disease, called gingivitis, the gums appear red and swollen. They also tend to bleed easily. At this point, it is quite simple to eradicate harmful bacteria and get gums back to the way they should be—pink and firm.
As the disease progresses, however, the tissue attaching gums to teeth is degraded, causing the gums to recede and show tooth roots. Without treatment, the supportive tissue for teeth also deteriorates, eventually leading to tooth instability and loss, which comes with its own set of complications for your appearance.
Why Does Periodontal Disease Need to Be Treated First?
Compared to minor cracks and chips, discoloration, and other cosmetic issues, periodontal disease has much more serious consequences if it remains untreated. It can even have an impact on your overall well-being. Several studies show that those with gum disease are much more likely to have poorly managed diabetes, an increased risk of heart disease, and a higher risk for Alzheimer’s. That’s why gum disease therapy takes priority over cosmetic work.
Once your teeth and gums are healthy again, you can revisit the elective changes you’d like to make to your smile. After all, what’s the use of putting veneers on teeth that may or may not need to come out because of gum disease?
Remember: your dreams of a perfect smile are not cancelled—they are just being put on hold for now. Although it means waiting for at least a few months, postponing cosmetic dental work until after gum disease treatment ensures that you still have a smile to work with. Try to be patient and keep in mind that your smile is worth the wait!