Can Gum Disease Affect My Facial Shape?
If you have gum disease, you might be familiar with the commonly associated symptoms such as gum swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. But did you know that long-standing, untreated gum disease can cause serious, even life-threatening complications and affect your facial appearance and smile? But how can the inflammation of my gums alter my facial shape? You might wonder. In this article, our dentist at Anthem Dentistry, Dr. Stevenson, explains how gum disease progress and causes medical and dental problems. So, continue reading to find out how gum disease affects your health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease refers to the inflammation of the gum tissues. Initially, gum disease is characterized by painful, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gum disease is reversible in its early stages; the symptoms can be easily reversed by improving oral hygiene. However, as the disease progresses, the toxins released by the harmful bacteria residing inside the plaque and tartar deposits penetrate deeper, destroy the gum tissues, and damage the fibers that attach the gums to the teeth and bones. As a result, the teeth become mobile within their sockets.
How Does Gum Disease Affect the Facial Shape?
If the disease progresses further, it becomes periodontal inflammation, implying that the tissues surrounding the gums have also been affected. At this stage, there is a widespread degradation of the bones of the face and the jaws, When this happens, not only is there insufficient bone tissue to support the teeth, but at the same time, extensive bone loss leads to a significant change in one’s facial profile. Some of the facial changes associated with chronic gum disease include:
- Shrunken face giving a malnourished appearance
- The appearance of facial creases and wrinkles
- Decreased prominence of the cheekbones
Overall, gum disease-associated bone loss makes one appear much older than their age. Unfortunately, this esthetic problem is not the only complication of gum inflammation. Inflammation from the diseased gums can travel into other body organs and cause systemic cardiac, respiratory, and gastric problems.
How to Prevent Gum Disease Related Facial Changes?
Periodontal disease can cause severe medical and dental problems. However, the good news is that it is preventable and treatable. Here are some tips that can help you keep gum disease - and its associated complications - at bay.
- Oral Hygiene Maintenance - there is no more significant barrier against gum disease than good oral hygiene. Ensure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day, and you won’t have to worry about gum disease anymore. However, please remember that brushing and flossing are only effective if done correctly.
- Professional Teeth Cleaning - when you visit your dentist for regular checkups, they will perform a thorough examination to detect any underlying dental issues. If they see signs of gum disease, they will perform professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tartar deposits. In case of severe infection, our dentist. Dr. Stevenson will perform deep teeth cleaning to treat the problem.
When it comes to gum disease, the best solution is prevention and regular dental checkup visits. So, book your entire family’s checkup appointment with Anthem Smiles to ensure they enjoy healthy, lasting, and beautiful smiles. We look forward to serving you.