Why Are My Gums Growing Over My Teeth?
Maintaining your oral hygiene can sometimes be confusing, especially when it comes to your gum health. Gum disease, or what dentists call "periodontal disease," is one of the most ignored dental issues, perhaps because most people aren't aware of the potential seriousness of the problem. Periodontal disease can result in a negative self-image, pain, and may even contribute to more severe conditions such as heart disease and decreased mental acuity.
The signs are difficult to ignore for those suffering from overgrown gums or gingival hyperplasia. In the most severe cases, the teeth can become barely visible due to aggressive gum growth. But in even moderate cases, gum growth can be dangerous. If you notice an increase in the size of your gums, it's not something you should ignore. Discover how Williams, Daily, and Frazier cosmetic dentists can restore your gums and smile.
Causes of Gums Growing Over
Having gingival hyperplasia shouldn't be embarrassing. Despite what you may think, it's not a reflection of poor oral hygiene. Most factors leading to the condition are beyond the person's control. These include:
- Genetics - You have overgrown gums because that is just the way you were born, and there are no other contributing causes.
- Medication side effects - There can be a direct link between certain medicines and developing gingival hyperplasia. Some well-known medications that may encourage excessive gum growth are Cyclosporine (used as an immune system depressant), Phenytoin (commonly prescribed to prevent seizures), and calcium channel blockers. Remember to discuss any medication you are taking with your dentist.
- Significant changes to your overall health - Many chronic health issues, particularly those that affect a person's hormonal balance, may cause excessive gum growth. For example, many women notice a rapid increase in their gum growth during pregnancy. Leukemia patients are more susceptible to gingival hyperplasia.
- Other dental issues - Untreated pericoronitis, or inflammation of the gums, can lead to additional oral problems, including increased gum growth.
Effects of Gum Overgrowth
Understanding that you are not directly responsible for your gingival hyperplasia may bring some emotional comfort, but it does nothing to eliminate the condition’s real issues. The most severe form of gingival hyperplasia is called gingival fibromatosis and can cause a person's gums to grow so much that they cover the teeth completely. Even less severe forms of the disease may result in swollen red lesions forming on the sufferer's gums that not only look unattractive but are physically painful.
No one wants to experience the problems associated with excessive gum growth, and while some factors are out of your control, there are several things that you can do to help.
- Brush your teeth twice a day - Brushing your teeth in the morning after eating breakfast and in the evening before going to bed is just good oral hygiene, but it can help prevent a wide range of periodontal diseases. Flossing or using a Waterpik is a great way to clean between the teeth where it's difficult for a brush to reach.
- Take care of yourself - Exercising regularly, eating a low-sugar healthy diet, and keeping stress levels low can have a tremendous effect on the health of your gums. Believe it or not, stress is one of the major causes of gum disease, so if you ever thought about learning to meditate or taking a Tai Chi class, now is the time to do it!
- See your dentist - You should already have two dental check-ups a year, but if you have been a bit lax, go ahead and schedule an appointment. Your dentist can warn you about any periodontal disease while it is still easy to treat.
Treating Gum Overgrowth
Dealing with gingival hyperplasia isn't the end of the world, but treatment requires that both you and your dentist take action immediately. Some of the treatment options include:
- Paying extra attention to your oral hygiene routine - Good dental hygiene is something everyone should follow, but if you have overgrown gums, you need to be even more aware of how you are taking care of your teeth.
- Anti-inflammatory medications - Your dentist may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medicine that can help treat swelling.
- Just wait it out - Sometimes, even with proper treatment, you need enough time to go by for the symptoms to go away. Just continue to follow your dentist's instructions, and you are likely to see positive results.
- Undergo gum recontouring - If you want more immediate results, consider reshaping your gum line. This simple, in-office procedure can restore your appearance and may even be covered under your dental insurance if medically necessary.
Get Treatment of Overgrown Gums in Raleigh
Don't wait; the problem isn't going to go away on its own. If you live in Raleigh and require treatment for gingival hyperplasia, call the dental offices of Williams, Daily, and Frazier.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.