Young woman with gum disease smiling in a cosmetic dentist's chair

Can You Get Cosmetic Dentistry Services if You Have Gum Disease?

A beautiful, vibrant smile can brighten up a room, be inviting to others, and make you feel good about yourself. After all, smiling is how we show one another that we’re happy or in good spirits. But if you’re not happy with your smile, smiling confidently can be a challenge.

Fortunately, there are a number of methods for brightening your smile, including cosmetic dentistry. But you may be wondering if you can go to a cosmetic dentist if you have gum disease. In short, yes you can. However, if you do have periodontal disease, you’ll likely need to be treated for gum disease first before any elective dental services can be rendered.

In the following, we’ll discuss what gum disease is, how it can be treated, and how you can start smiling again.

Wondering if you can get cosmetic dental services with gum disease? Reach out to Alaska Dental Arts today and speak with a professional dentist.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease?

10 Common Signs of Gum Disease Infographic

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is an infection of the gums and soft tissue surrounding the teeth. Over time, and without any treatment, gum disease can progress and ultimately destroy the bones which support your teeth. Additionally, advanced gum disease may also cause the teeth to become loose and eventually advance to tooth loss.

Healthy gums are a light pink color, firm to the touch, and fit neatly around the teeth. A few common signs of gum disease are as follows:

  • A change in your bite
  • Receding gum line (making your teeth appear longer)
  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Tender to the touch
  • Bleeding while brushing
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful when eating or drinking

Gum disease is actually a common occurrence and this is usually due to poor oral hygiene, but it is largely preventable. Getting regular dental checkups, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily can greatly reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

Periodontal Therapy

If you have gum disease, talking to your dentist about treatment options may be necessary before you can have a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Though this may depend on the severity of gum disease, getting treatment to restore your gum health will enable you to move forward and attain the smile you desire.

Periodontal therapy can be administered in the following ways, or in combination, to combat gum disease.

Root Planing and Scaling

Through the process of scaling, your dentist will remove the tartar and plaque around the gum line, ensuring that all areas are clean throughout the entire gum line. Once scaling is complete, your dentist will then begin the process of root planning – and this is the smoothing out of the teeth roots in order to help the gums reattach to the teeth.


As a great therapy, if you’re in the beginning stages of gum disease, prescription antibiotic mouth rinses help for reducing the amount of bacteria concentrated on the gums and in the mouth. And antibiotic therapy is often administered alongside the scaling and root planing procedure.

Osseous Surgery

For advanced gum disease, osseous surgery is often administered. During this procedure, a team of periodontal specialists will pull back the gums to clean the infectious bacteria away from the surface of the teeth and gums. Typically, after this cleaning, the gums are reattached in a higher position on the teeth.

Options for Cosmetic Dental Services

If you’re looking for a vibrant smile that is eye-catching and attractive, cosmetic dentistry is going to be the best path forward. And once your dentist has taken care of your immediate oral needs, such as gum disease treatment and the like, your dentist can help guide you toward the best cosmetic dentistry – perfect for your needs and your oral health goals.

A few options to consider for cosmetic dental services are:

  • Teeth whitening procedures
  • Invisalign
  • Dental Implants
  • Veneers
  • Dentures

Depending on the overall condition of your teeth and gums, one of the aforementioned cosmetic services may be a perfect solution for your oral needs. And all of these methods are unique.

Teeth Whitening

A cosmetic teeth whitening procedure is much more efficient than OTC teeth whitening gels or bleaching agents that you can buy at your local grocery store. In fact, after an in-chair teeth whitening procedure, patients will leave with a noticeably whiter smile.

In addition, you may also choose to have your teeth whitened in stages at home. For this option, your dentist will send you home with a whitening gel and instructions for application. Though this may take longer, it will improve the brightness of your smile over time.


Invisalign straightens your teeth and is the clear alternative to traditional metal braces commonly used for children, teens, and adults. If you have crooked or misaligned teeth, Invisalign can be an attractive solution to straightening the teeth.

Commonly, your dentist will plan out a series of clear, removable aligners that will straighten your teeth over time. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the entire procedure could take between 6 – 12 months or longer to align the teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are small posts that are screwed into the bone that act as roots of the tooth. These are usually made of titanium and are used to connect an abutment that is placed on top of the implant – and this abutment ultimately connects to the fabricated crown or replacement tooth that is usually fashioned to match your natural tooth shape.

It should be noted that some dental implant procedures require significant healing time before the replacement teeth can be implanted to complete the procedure.


If you’re looking to fix cracked, stained, misshapen, or broken teeth, dental veneers may provide a perfect solution.

Dental veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments today, and these are custom-made shells that fit directly over the surface of the teeth – usually made from acrylic compounds or porcelain.


For those with several missing teeth, dentures may provide a great solution. Dentures are false teeth, often made of metal, nylon, or acrylic and they’re designed to fit snugly over the gums.

It should be noted that for a full set of dentures to be used, all of the teeth must be out of the mouth. In this case, all remaining teeth are pulled and the gums are allowed to heal and return to their permanent shape before you can be fitted with a full set of dentures.

Keeping Up With Oral Hygiene

While cosmetic dentistry can offer you the perfect solution for your oral health needs, perhaps the most beneficial thing you can do to avoid gum disease and other oral health problems is to visit your dentist regularly. Get your teeth cleaned at least twice per year, and adhere to an oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing twice daily and flossing after meals.

Gum disease can be debilitating if not corrected or treated. As such, talk to your dentist about treatment options and about cosmetic dentistry, and you’ll eventually have the smile that you’ve always wanted.

Are you considering cosmetic dentistry to attain a brighter, straighter smile? Reach out to Alaska Dental Arts today and talk with an experienced dentist.