What is cosmetic gum surgery?
A less attractive smile results when the integrity of the
gum is compromised or the actual gum between your teeth becomes
weak. Usually due to poor hygiene (gum disease), you actually
begin to lose gum tissue. Cosmetic dentistry provides many
cosmetic solutions such as composite resin bonding, crowns,
and veneers to create a great smile. These solutions are usually
part of an overall strategy which may involve cosmetic gum
surgery. Used to correct a 'gummy smile' (a significant portion
of your gum is exposed when you smile), cosmetic gum surgery
is the procedure of lengthening your teeth from the neck of
the tooth upwards. Your teeth then appear to be longer and
much less gum is seen when you smile.
The "Long in the Tooth" Smile - Cosmetic gum surgery,
or periodontal plastic surgery, can correct almost any deformity
or gingival problems preventing you from a beautiful smile.
As we age, our gums may shrink and recede which makes our
teeth look longer. While this is often age-related, it can
also occur due to a bad bite.
The "Gummy Smile" - This is a problem where your
teeth appear to be too short. Gum sculpting is often the solution.
To solve this, a dentist uses a laser to remove the excess
tissue of your "gummy" smile, which then exposes
more of your tooth.
Who is a candidate for cosmetic gum surgery?
You should consult your dentist about cosmetic gum surgery
if you believe you have "Gummy Smile" (small crown
length), gum recession "long teeth", an uneven gum
line due to "short teeth", gum loss or gums which
appear to be collapsing (from missing teeth), dark or black
areas between bridges, implants, crowns or teeth, or tooth
sensitivity from receding gums.
What is a Gummy Smile ?
This is a problem where your teeth appear to be too short.
A gummy smile or excessive gingival display can occur due
to a number of reasons: a short upper lip, excessive wear
of the teeth due to grinding, vertical maxillary excess (a
long upper jawbone), and/or altered passive eruption.
What is Gingival Recession?
When the gums recede, the teeth appear much "longer"
than normal. Besides the fact that this does not look good,
recession exposes the sensitive root surface which can make
it difficult to enjoy hot or cold foods and drinks. Also,
the exposed root surface is much more susceptible to plaque
accumulation and root caries. In advanced cases, teeth can
become loose because as the gum recedes, so does the supporting
In many cases, this situation can be corrected by transplanting
a small piece of gum tissue to cover the exposed root and
thereby correct the appearance of "long" teeth.