Imagine the most beautiful smile you can think of. Odds are you focused on the teeth: perfectly shaped, perfectly textured, evenly spaced, and of a glowing, slightly off-white shade. Too often, we forget how integral the gums are to creating a beautifully balanced smile. Problems involving the gums can have a serious impact on your smile. Today, we take a closer look at three ways your gums can undermine the appearance and health of your smile.
1. Too Much Visible Gum Tissue
Your dentist might call it an “excessive gingival tissue.” Your best friend might it a “gummy smile.” No matter what you call it, too much visible gum tissue or gums that extend too far over the enamel can make your teeth look short and stumpy and give your smile an awkward, almost child-like appearance.
Your Periodontist’s Solution: Crown Lengthening. This procedure involves removing tiny amounts of tissue at the gum line to reveal more of the enamel hiding beneath it. The teeth appear longer and your smile looks more attractive. Paired with a teeth whitening treatment, crown lengthening can produce results similar to porcelain veneers.
2. Uneven Gum Line
Orthodontics aren’t the only solution for teeth that look crooked and uneven. Sometimes, the problem isn’t in the spacing and alignment of the teeth, but in a gum line that’s all over the place. An uneven gum line can create the illusion of uneven or disproportionate teeth, seriously diminishing the symmetry and overall beauty of your smile.
Your Periodontist’s Solution: Gum Reshaping and/or Gum Grafting. In some areas, removing excess gum tissue can reveal your naturally even teeth. In other areas, a gum graft will regenerate tissue lost to gum disease and fill in the spaces left behind by receding gums.
3. Gingivitis and Gum Disease
This inflammatory disorder affects over 50% of Americans and leads to a wide range of symptoms that will ruin your smile, including bad breath, receding gums, gums that look dark and bleed easily, and loss of permanent teeth. Although most people can avoid gum disease by taking good care of their teeth at home and not smoking, some people (like diabetics, women going through hormonal fluctuations, and people with a family history of the disease) have a higher risk of developing gum disease.
Your Periodontist’s Solution: Gum Disease Therapy. Treatments for gum disease include soft tissue lasers, deep cleanings, gum surgery, and, most importantly, regular cleanings.
About Dr. Marco Cueva
Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience treating all stages of gum disease and placing dental implants. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Periodontic Excellence by calling 972-390-9944.