Healthy Gums Perfect Your Smile

Elkhart periodontal treatmentWhen was the last time you really paid attention to your gums? They may be wanting some TLC! Our gums aren't as prominent as our teeth, so they can be overlooked. But their health is a key part of your beautiful smile. And by keeping your gums in great shape, you ensure that they support your healthy teeth for years to come. Read on for some warning signs of ailing gums, as well as steps you can take at home and in our office to repair them.

How Gums Become Damaged

For many patients, tooth damage makes more sense than gum damage. Because your enamel is hard and can't repair itself, it requires outside help when it cracks, breaks, or wears down. But your gums are subject to many of the same forces as your teeth, and they can suffer similar damages. Some of the most common causes of an altered gum line include

  • Tooth grinding - Grinding your teeth is a bad habit for many reasons, and it does untold damage to your teeth. Your gums suffer as well. The repeat pressure and wear leads to gum recession, wherein your gum line descends. This shows more tooth and less gum, and can change the balanced appearance of your smile. Receding gums also expose your tooth roots, which can be highly sensitive and also yellow in color.
  • Periodontal disease - Gum disease destroys both teeth and gums. The major way it alters your gum line is by giving rise to periodontal pockets, bacteria-filled areas between your teeth and gums. The bacteria present in these pockets eats away at tooth and gum tissues, disintegrating your gums.
  • Dry mouth - When there's not enough saliva present in your mouth, your oral tissues suffer. Your gums need that moisture to stay healthy and strong. Dry mouth irritates the gums and makes it easier for gingivitis to take hold. Your gums will look puffy, and may begin to recede.

If one of these issues has already taken hold of your mouth, there are restorative steps you can take at Elkhart Dental Center. We'll return your gums to health comfortably and efficiently.

Elkhart Periodontal Treatment

Elkhart periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a dangerous ailment that can consume your mouth and smile. By taking action as soon as problems arise, we're able to minimize the damage. If you notice a combination of the following symptoms, it's time to give us a call:

  • Red or purple gums
  • Sore gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth pain
  • Puffy gums
  • Receding gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth

With a combination of scaling, root planing, and antibiotics, we'll clean the area and treat disease. Dr. Lee will remain in touch with you to monitor your gums for signs of disease returning.

Rebuilding Weakened Gums

If your gums have succumbed to a periodontal problem, it's possible to turn back the effects of disease. Dr. Lee is able to rebuild your gums and tailor your gum line using treatments such as 

  • Gum grafts - After periodontal disease has ravaged your mouth, it's likely that your gum line has changed. Tender tooth roots may be exposed, and the tooth-gum display balance may be off. A gum graft will add healthy tissue to the gum line, making it a permanent part of the lacking area. A small portion of healthy gum tissue will be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and placed at the treatment site. Once healed, it will look like a natural part of your smile.
  • Gum contouring - Your gums may not look exactly the way you would like them to. It's time to make some minor tweaks to the gum line. Contouring will create a smile with which you're thoroughly pleased.