Today’s blog post will be talking about a common problem that happens with the gums which can cause the gums to look strange or unnatural. Oftentimes it is associated with puffy gums or swollen gums, and the gums can also discolour such that people may notice redness of the gums, or an abnormal colour change which may even make the gums look purplish or bluish in appearance. The red or purple or blue hue of the gums can all be present at once, causing a very unhealthy appearance of the gums. This problem is shown in the picture, and it is a problem that in dental terms is known as “biologic width invasion.” When it happens, brushing or flossing the area does not resolve the problem, and bleeding gums are often associated with it. The condition is usually painless, but people notice that the gums always bleed even with good oral hygiene. Oftentimes, this happens after a deep restoration such as a crown or bridge or filling was done in the area. This is especially noticeable if the gums become red after a crown, bridge or filling in the front part of the mouth. Other times people notice that the gums are always bleeding after a crown or filling.
How Biologic Width Invasion Can Happen
Biologic width invasion can happen when a dental restoration is too close to the bone supporting the teeth. Usually, this happens because a cavity was deep so the dental restoration also had to be placed deep to fix the cavity, or when restoration margins had to be placed beneath the gum line for other reasons. In the human body, it is normal for the gums to grow about 3mm above the bone supporting and surrounding the teeth. When a dental restorative material comes to within 3mm of the bone, there is a chance of biologic width invasion, as the body attempts to position the gums normally relative to the bone, but is unable to due to the location of the dental restoration. This results in the common appearance of red, puffy, bleeding gums that do not heal even with diligent brushing and oral care. If you have this condition, you may notice that the gums throughout your mouth look healthy and normal, but in one spot the gum line looks abnormal and don’t become healthy no matter what you do. Brushing doesn’t help and the gum still looks weird no matter how well you clean the area. When biologic width invasion happens, the gums are in a state of constant or chronic inflammation that cannot resolve unless something is done to the gum and/or bone in the area.
Treatment for Biologic Width Invasion
In most cases, if you have biologic width invasion the gums will not heal unless a procedure called crown lengthening is performed in the area. Crown lengthening is a dental procedure in which the bone, and oftentimes the gum, in the area is repositioned so that it is a little further from your dental restoration. This allows the normal relationship of the gum to the bone to be established by your body without the dental restoration being in the way. This will resolve the unhealthy appearance of the gums and resolve the inflammation, resulting in better oral health.
If you are concerned that you may have biologic width invasion, we would be glad to look and help. Call our Edmonton dental office Orchards Dental today! We are conveniently located in southeast Edmonton and gladly serve the neighbourhoods of our city including Ellerslie, Heritage Valley, Millwoods, Walker Lakes, and other areas!