If you've had severe gum disease, like periodontitis, also called periodontal disease, chances are that your gums have receded. While you may not be happy about how this looks, it does more than affect your appearance. Even once your gum disease has been reversed, severely receded gums can't grow back to where they once were. Even if you maintain good oral hygiene habits, this can put your overall dental health at risk. Read on to learn why it's so important for your gums to be repaired, and how the procedure works.
How Gums Protect Your Teeth
Healthy gums do a lot to keep your teeth in good, healthy condition. When gums are healthy, they form a snug seal around the teeth that helps to keep bacteria and debris out. When gums become diseased or damaged though, the gums become swollen and loose and eventually recede. Even once the gums are healthy, if they've already receded, the exposed portion of the teeth isn't protected anymore, and the gum may not form a snug fit around the tooth anymore.
The Risk of Exposed Teeth
Teeth are protected from decay and bacteria by enamel, the hard outer shell surrounding teeth. However, the portion of the tooth that's hidden and protected by healthy gums doesn't have enamel. This means that the upper portion of the tooth is far more susceptible to bacteria and decay than the rest of your tooth. In addition, even brushing your teeth can potentially harm this softer part of your tooth.
How Gum Surgery Fixes It
Dentists can restore your gums to their previous length by grafting new tissue to your current gum line. Depending on how much of your gums need to be repaired and your overall oral health, this tissue can either come from your own mouth or a donor.
In either case, your dentist will create a small incision along the end of your gum line and surgically attach the new tissue to form the extension of your gums. The transplanted tissue graft will gradually heal together with your existing gum line.
Once the surgical incisions have fully healed, your gums will look completely healthy and normal. In addition, your teeth will be protected from further damage, so all you'll have to do is maintain your oral health to prevent further incidents of gum disease.
Gum disease can wreak havoc on your oral health, and even once you're cured of it, more damage can still be done if steps aren't taken to repair your gums. If you've had gum disease, don't put off having your dentist surgically repair your gum line, or your teeth may pay the price.Share