When most people think about cosmetic dentistry, healthy teeth, and an attractive smile, their primary focus tends to be on things like tooth color and symmetry. Such as tooth alignment, size, etc. Your brushing and bleaching routine may be impeccable. But there could be an underlying issue that’s jeopardizing your smile as a whole: gum health.
The health of your gums impacts everything from the integrity of your teeth to the contoured tissue that frames them. Aesthetically, the margins of your gums play a significant role in the appearance of your teeth. The scalloped, smooth gum tissues affect the shape and visual length of each tooth. If the gums are receding, it can lead to “long teeth” or gaps between teeth due to tissue loss.
Although the shape and health of your gums drastically impact the way your smile looks, their health is crucial to the function of your teeth. Particularly when it comes to gum disease, also called periodontal disease or periodontitis.
When periodontal disease exists, it physically triggers a detachment process between your gum tissues and teeth. As gingiva is lost, the bone structure immediately underneath the gums also begins to resorb (shrink.)
Most gum health problems begin as gingivitis, which is a minor redness and swelling along the edges of the gums. Gingivitis is completely reversible with good home care in most cases. But left unaddressed, it will progress into the physical destruction of periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Minor periodontal disease is the early detachment of gum tissues, creating “pockets” underneath them, against the roots of your teeth. These periodontal pockets tend to harbor plaque bacteria as well as calcified tartar deposits. If the buildup isn’t cleaned away in a timely manner, additional tissue deterioration and bone loss occur.
In time, periodontal pockets become much deeper. And with that, the underlying bone shrinks away more as time goes by.
Even the most attractive, white, “healthy” teeth can eventually become mobile or ultimately fall out because of periodontal disease. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.
Know the Warning Signs
Periodontal infections are best addressed early when initial symptoms begin to develop. Scratch that: they’re best treated through prevention before they start. Unfortunately, many people never realize there’s a problem until gum recession and tooth mobility start to occur.
Watch for early warning signs such as gums that bleed, tenderness, tartar buildup, and chronic bad breath. Working with a gum specialist in The Woodlands or Conroe will provide you with the best resources to preserve your natural smile.
Combatting gum disease helps you retain your attractive anatomical teeth, reduce facial profile changes associated with bone loss, and even boost your overall health and immunity.
If you’ve already reached the point of moderate to severe gum disease, help is still available. Contact our leading periodontist in The Woodlands today to reserve a comprehensive exam. Our expert resources and experience can help you save your smile.