Have you ever seen an old, beat-up car with fancy, shiny wheels and tires? It can make for a strange combo, as it would make sense to get the car in better condition before turning one’s attention to the wheels.
That’s not unlike the situation when a person is considering treatment from a cosmetic dentist before they put gum disease in the rearview mirror. Can you even get a cosmetic treatment before having gum disease therapy to restore your oral health?
Keep reading to learn more about what gum disease is, how it can impact the appearance of your smile, and why it needs to be treated before getting cosmetic dentistry.
What Is Gum Disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque to build up on the teeth and harden. In advance stages, it can lead to bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and even tooth loss.
There are a number of risk factors for gum disease, but smoking is the most significant and it can make treatment less successful. Other risk factors include diabetes, hormonal changes in women, medications that cause dry mouth, certain illnesses like AIDS, as well as genetic susceptibility.
How Can Gum Disease Impact My Smile?
There are visible symptoms of gum disease including gums that are red, swollen, or bleeding, as well as receding gums that make teeth appear longer. Some symptoms that can’t be seen include persistent bad breath and teeth that are loose or sensitive, but tooth loss can eventually occur.
Why Does Gum Disease Need to Be Treated Before Getting Cosmetic Dentistry?
Certain cosmetic procedures such as the placement of porcelain veneers can make it more difficult to detect cavities or disease, so it is essential that your smile is free from infection before starting your smile makeover with cosmetic procedures. It may take a few months to treat your gum disease, depending on how severe it is, but disregarding it to focus on a cosmetic procedure would be putting the cart before the horse.
After all, if gum disease can eventually progress to tooth loss, why would you spend money on a treatment that’s clearly at risk of failure? Not unlike the importance of building a house on a solid foundation, the health of your teeth and gums is priority number one before you turn your attention to the appearance of your smile.
Don’t worry, your cosmetic dentist can assess your dental needs during your initial consultation. From there, they can craft a custom treatment plan that is designed to enhance both the look and function of your smile. That way, you can have a grin that is healthy, happy, and beautiful!
About the Author
Dr. Megan Shelton realized she wanted to be a dentist at age 12 and hasn’t looked back. She loves working with her hands, learning about dental science, and creating beautiful artistry. Dr. Shelton attended advanced educational training at the KOIS Center, a world-renowned, postgraduate-level dental training center. Cosmetic dentistry is one of her areas of expertise and she loves helping nearby patients achieve a smile that is as healthy as it is beautiful. To schedule a consultation, visit her website or call (760) 434-9800.