There are dozens of ways dental professionals can enhance the appearance of patients’ smiles, one of which is gum contouring. While some patients are troubled by discolored teeth, crooked teeth, or even no teeth, others may have gummy smiles. If you are one of these people, understand that such gum problems are normal and that there are ways to correct them.
The causes of gummy smiles
A gummy smile is one characterized by an “excessive” gingival display. In the dental world, this means any smile in which the visible gum line is larger than 4 mm. Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are most likely to have gummy smiles than older women or males, though the condition tends to recede with age.
A gummy smile can have several causes. Genetics are the most likely culprit, with tooth size, jaw size, and lip size all playing a role. However, poor dental hygiene is also a leading cause. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can sneak under the gum line and cause swelling. This inflammation can make the gums appear larger than they actually are.
Medication is another cause of gummy smiles. Prolonged use of certain medications, such as immunosuppressants, heart disease medications, and medications for epilepsy, can result in enlarged gum tissue.
Finally, altered tooth eruption can cause a smile to look gummy. This typically happens to young children and occurs when an adult tooth fails to erupt all the way through the gum line.
Gum contouring for a gummy smile
Regardless of the cause of a person’s gummy smile, the good news is that the dental field offers numerous fixes. Gum contouring is one of the most popular.
This procedure involves altering the shape of a patient’s gumline. To do this, a dental professional either cuts away excessive gum tissue or, if a patient experiences the opposite problem — long, fang-like teeth — restores the gum tissue that receded. Regardless, the ultimate goal of gum contouring is to restore the gums to a healthy, wholesome, and aesthetically pleasing state.
If a gummy smile is the issue, the dentist numbs the area to be worked on and use specialized tools to trim away the excess gum tissue and reveal more of the tooth. The whole process typically requires one appointment and little to no recovery time.
Following a gum contouring, patients typically notice one of two things. The first is that the gumline appears more symmetrical. The second is that the teeth appear longer. The teeth look longer because there is less gum tissue to hide them, and not because the dentist actually lengthened the teeth themselves. Either way, the patient can enjoy a more prominent, less gummy smile.
For people who live with gummy smiles, gum contouring can drastically enhance the appearance of their smiles to achieve the look they want. Talk to a local dentist to learn more about this process today.
Are you considering gum contouring in the Odessa area? Get more information at https://www.westtexasperio.com.
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