Overgrowth of gum tissue is known as gingival hyperplasia. This condition is commonly caused by anti-seizure drugs, and in addition to affecting your appearance, gum overgrowth can lead to health problems. If you take medication to control epilepsy and notice that your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily, seek prompt dental care. Here are three ways gingival hyperplasia can negatively affect your health and what you can do to minimize its affects:
When gum tissue becomes severely inflamed, it can grow over and in-between your teeth. When this happens, it can be difficult to maintain optimal oral care. Gingival hyperplasia makes it hard to brush under your gum line which can lead to the accumulation of plaque and tartar.
If not removed, an infection can develop. Some people with overgrown gum tissue fear brushing their teeth because gingival hyperplasia can cause your gums to bleed when brushing and flossing. If your gums are inflamed, see your dentist on a regular basis for a professional cleaning, which will ensure that plaque and tartar are effectively removed from underneath your gums.
In between professional visits, using a water jet oral care appliance will help keep your teeth and gums clean and free from bacteria. Oral water jet appliances should not be used in place of brushing, but instead, as a complementary measure to brushing and flossing.
Overgrown gum tissue can lead to pain and sensitivity when chewing. In severe cases, nutritional deficiencies can develop because eating is often unpleasant for those with gingival hyperplasia. Rinsing your mouth with a mild saltwater solution can help minimize discomfort and reduce oral swelling so that chewing is more comfortable. Salt also has antibacterial properties which may help reduce the buildup of microorganisms underneath your inflamed gums, while reducing your risk for infection.
Mental Health Problems
When gums are severely inflamed, reddened, and bleed, you may feel self-conscious about leaving your home. This can lead to social isolation, depression, and anxiety. Children are especially susceptible to mental health problems related to overgrown gums.
They may be afraid to go to school or interact with their friends for fear of being made fun of. Both dental and psychological treatment needs to be employed if you or your child is suffering from mental health disorders because of your appearances.
If you or your child experiences any of the above conditions because of gingival hyperplasia, see your physician and dentist. When the dose of anti-seizure medication is reduced, abnormal gum tissue often reverts back to normal. If your condition fails to improve, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon or gum specialist who can surgically improve your gum line.