Beautiful gums – pink aesthetics

Keep on smiling – a radiant smile includes flawless teeth and healthy, rosy gums. Dr. Frank Liebaug from the German Institute for Dental Research and Education explains what dental medicine can do today.

A smile can win hearts, open doors, give comfort. It is our most beautiful accessory, which must be cared for if we want to maintain it. Besides the teeth, the gums play the main role. But over the years it often becomes a problem child. Thanks to innovative dentistry, however, gum problems can be well managed. The new methods and products that are particularly successful were presented at the “Hyaluron in Dentistry” symposium in Frankfurt.

Do we all have trouble with our gums at some point?

“Experts estimate that 80 percent of Germans over a certain age are familiar with gum problems. The most common is inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis.”

What are the causes?

“This inflammation is caused by bacterial plaque. The immune system, systematic diseases or hormonal changes also influence the course of the disease. However, it can be treated quite well with professional dental cleaning, during which tartar and plaque are thoroughly removed. As a rule, gingivitis heals within one or two weeks. However, in about 40 percent of Germans – often between the ages of 40 and 50 – gingivitis develops into periodontitis.”

With what consequences?

“If this chronic inflammation is not treated, in extreme cases the jawbone surrounding the tooth is destroyed and the gums recede to such an extent that wide dark interdental spaces become visible and, in extreme cases, teeth may fall out due to increasing loosening.”

Gum recession is also a visual problem. How to get back a beautiful smile?

“First, the dentist must eliminate the chronic foci of inflammation. Weakened gums can be plumped up again with hyaluronic acid. A Swiss company has developed two different fillers based on hyaluronic acid for this purpose. A fine needle is used to inject the active ingredient directly into the gums under local anesthesia. In addition to the optical effect, hyaluronic acid also has very positive properties in the area of wound healing, for example by having an anti-inflammatory effect.”

Some people have small black triangles between their teeth and gums. Can they be filled with hyaluronic acid?

“In fact, at least 50 percent of adults over 50 have under these little triangles as a result of gum recession. Again, hyaluronic acid is wonderful for this. With a small, pea-sized deposit, you can refill the mini-gaps under local anesthesia without extensive surgery.”

Do health insurance companies cover the cost?

“The private health insurance companies very often cover the costs, which, however, are also kept within reasonable limits at about 100 euros per injection. Often, a very clear improvement can be seen after just one injection. Sometimes the treatment has to be repeated up to three times.”