If you are ready to fix the appearance of your teeth and gums, our cosmetic solutions can help! There are many elements that make up an ideal smile; bright, healthy-looking teeth immediately come to mind. But the gum tissue that surrounds and supports those teeth also plays a big role in how appealing your smile will look.(281) 559-7019
There are various cosmetic issues involving gum (gingival) tissue. For example, your smile may look “gummy,” meaning you seem to display too much gum tissue when you smile, or your teeth appear too short. Sometimes it’s the opposite problem: your teeth appear too long because your gum tissue has receded (pulled back), exposing tooth-root surfaces that were covered at one time. Or, you may have an uneven gum line, meaning gum tissue covers some of your teeth more than others. All of these cosmetic gum problems can be successfully treated with cosmetic procedures performed in our dental office.
Sometimes your gums can shrink down (recede), exposing a portion of your tooth roots. This causes a cosmetic problem because of root surfaces, which have no enamel covering, tend to appear more yellow than the crowns of your teeth. Also, exposed roots can be more sensitive to cold or touch, and can be at greater risk of decay. There are various gum grafting procedures that can cover exposed roots, all of which involve moving gingival (gum) tissue from one site in the mouth to another. For example, roots can be covered with tissue from the roof of your mouth, which is of the same type; or nearby tissue can be moved over to cover an exposed root. Sometimes laboratory-processed tissue from another donor can even be used. All of these options can be discussed with you in more detail.
If you have an uneven gum line where some teeth are covered by more tissue than others, it is often possible to recontour (reshape) the tissue for a very pleasing effect. This can be done conventionally with a surgical scalpel or with newer dental laser technology. The advantage of a laser is that it seals the tissue as it sculpts it, making the procedure more comfortable and requiring a shorter healing time.
A gummy smile can be caused by excessive gum tissue covering more enamel surface of a tooth’s crown (the visible part of the tooth) than normal. Some people feel self-conscious about smiling because they believe their gums are too prominent. Though we each have our own definition of what makes a smile beautiful, including how much gum is too much, a smile will usually be perceived as “gummy” when four millimeters (just over an eighth of an inch) of gum tissue shows. If your smile looks gummy to you, it’s important to figure out exactly what’s causing this. Only then can the appropriate cosmetic dental or periodontal (gum) procedures be recommended to give you a more pleasing appearance of the gums and teeth. In some cases, a procedure known as “crown lengthening” can be performed, in which gum tissue (and sometimes a small amount of bone tissue) is removed to expose more tooth surface, while in other cases, a gum recontouring procedure may be more effective.
Periodontal procedures are available to stop further dental problems and gum recession, and to improve the aesthetics of your gum line. For example, an exposed tooth root resulting from gum recession may not be causing you pain or sensitivity, but is causing one or more of your teeth to look longer than the others.
Many people inherit the problem of excessive or uneven gums. An aesthetic surgical procedure called a gum lift can be used to correct this problem.
Gummy smiles may be caused by one or more factors relating to the gums themselves, the teeth, or even the lip or jaw. Each of these areas will require a different approach to solving the problem. Let’s look at some of the ways a gummy smile can be corrected:
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