You may have your heart set on cosmetic dentistry, but if your teeth and gums are not healthy, your dentist will not be able to go ahead with porcelain veneers, dental bonding or even tooth whitening.
Gum disease is nothing to laugh at in fact it is the most common problem that dentists deal when it comes to patients.
According to the Mayo Clinic, gingivitis, or the most serious periodontal disease, is caused by poor oral health habits including skipped dental checkups and a poor diet. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you are also more susceptible to gum disease.
You may have gum disease and not even know it, as the early stages of gingivitis can often only be detected by your dentist and can be very subtle. However, gum disease does have a few warning signs that you should be aware of including swelling or red gums, or bleeding when you blush or floss. Other things to watch for include tender gums, a bad taste in your mouth or consistent and persistent bad breath.
Once gingivitis has advanced to periodontal disease you will notice gum recession and deep pockets that will begin to form in-between your gums and your teeth. Serious periodontal disease can cause tooth shifting and even lose teeth. Your bite and they way your teeth fit together will also begin to change if you have periodontitis.
If you went to see your dentist for one or more cosmetic procedures only to be told that you cannot have dental veneers until you take care of your gum disease, your dentist will go through the various treatment options depending on the severity of your gingivitis or periodontal disease.
The goal of gum disease treatment is to reduce the swelling and the depth of your pockets and promote the reattachment of healthy gums to your teeth. Treatments may include deep cleaning, such as root planing and scaling or surgery in order to restore your supportive gum tissue.
Gum disease can be reversed if it is caught in the early stages, but good oral hygiene and plaque control must be practiced. Plaque control means professional dental cleanings at least two times a year along with brushing twice and flossing once each day. A good healthy diet and an antibacterial mouthwash can also help reduce and prevent gum disease.
A healthy smile is more than tooth whitening, and if you have been considering dental veneers, bonding, or even dental implants, talk to your dentist who can determine if your teeth and gums are healthy enough to proceed with any sort of cosmetic dental treatment.