Most people already know that gums can recede, but far fewer have heard about gum enlargement. This is more properly known as gingival hyperplasia, although it may also be referred to as gingival overgrowth or hypertrophic gingivitis. In any case, this is a condition characterized by an overgrowth or thickening of gum tissue around the teeth. In severe cases, the teeth may even be covered completely.
There are several reasons why someone might develop gingival hyperplasia, including hormonal changes, certain medications, or simply poor oral hygiene. Regardless of the cause, gingival hyperplasia is an issue that should be treated as soon as possible.
Here are just four reasons why.
1. Gum Disease
Gingival hyperplasia tends to make the affected tissue inflamed, so you're likely to notice your gums become red and shiny. They will also often become sore or bleed when placed under pressure, such as when you brush or floss. This is a sign of mild gum disease, or gingivitis, and it can quickly advance to advanced gum disease, or periodontal disease, when overgrowth becomes severe. This occurs because enlarged gums more easily trap bacteria. Periodontal disease can lead to serious infections and eventually require extractions, so this is a serious issue.
2. Poor Tooth Alignment
As gum tissues become enlarged, they can place enough pressure on your teeth to shift them out of alignment. This can result in teeth that overlap or become crowded. Your bite can be affected when this happens, which can increase your risk of everything from chipped teeth to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. In some cases, orthodontic treatment will be required after gingival hyperplasia is treated in order to return teeth to their proper alignment.
3. Tooth Decay
Plaque, food debris, and other irritants can be easily trapped by overgrown gums, and it will become increasingly difficult to properly brush or floss your teeth as they are covered by more of your gums. As the condition progresses, it's often impossible to reach the areas between teeth, especially towards the gumline. This means gingival hyperplasia can often accelerate decay and increase your risk of developing cavities.
4. Cosmetic Issues
Finally, it's worth remembering that overgrown gums can significantly impact your appearance. While this is not such a pressing issue as gum disease or tooth decay, it's still true that changes to the way you look can have a big impact on your mental health, especially when your smile is involved. Treatment can help reverse this condition to get your smile back to the way it once looked, so it only makes sense to seek that treatment sooner rather than later.
Talk to a local dentist to learn more.
You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!