Here's What You Need To Know About Your Gums' Appearance After Recovering From Gum Disease

Getting back on your feet when you've had gum disease can be tough. When it's able to get to the advanced stages, beating gum disease can be difficult, even with the best medication and dental care at home. So it stands to reason that once you've recovered from it, you deserve to look and feel your best. Unfortunately, for many people with advanced gum disease, their appearance can be dramatically altered by the disease. Here's what you need to know about this potential problem and how you can have it taken care of.

Gum Disease's Impact

When you have gum disease, it causes a condition called receding gums. This is essentially what happens when the gum tissue becomes inflamed or infected. The swelling and chronic inflammation cause the gums to recede, or fall back away from the tooth. There may be gapping around the tooth, but the one most recognizable sign is that your teeth look longer.

Your teeth aren't actually changing their size, but more of each tooth is being exposed to the surface because the gums have revealed more of it.

The Result

Beating gum disease means that the symptoms of inflammation and infection go away. However, gums that have receded tend to never regain their full length. As a result, you can end up having long-looking teeth that make you feel embarrassed or anxious about the way that your smile appears to others. In addition, having shorter gums can potentially increase your risk for future dental problems. Shorter gums expose more of the tooth, potentially including parts of the teeth that aren't covered by tooth enamel naturally. This can increase your risk of developing cavities and other tooth problems caused by oral bacteria.

Getting Help

While this is a common problem, that doesn't mean that you have to live with it. Restorative dentistry can help you by repairing your gums, which will also protect your teeth. This can be accomplished by performing a gum graft. A small amount of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth, cut to size, and attached to the edge of the gums. Over time, the body connects the two naturally and the grafted tissue becomes a part of your gums. The look should be seamless, so you can enjoy your smile again, and it will protect your teeth.

Gum grafts are a simple-enough procedure to perform and typically don't require general anesthesia. If you're interested in getting your former appearance back, talk to a dentist about this procedure of restorative dentistry.