Posted on 9/25/2015 by Dr. Dennison
|Smiling is such an integral part of who you are - if you are embarrassed to smile it can greatly impact your self-esteem. Did you know that even if you have the straightest, whitest teeth that you can still be embarrassed to smile? Sometimes a smile is affected by your gums just as much as your teeth. Just what problems can your gums cause? Let's take a look!
Gummy SmileWhen you smile do you feel like all that people see are gums? This problem usually occurs on your top teeth and is the result of too much gum tissue, making your top teeth look short, even if they really are not. There are a variety of reasons that a person can have too much gum tissue that overtakes their teeth, including: a shorter upper lip, teeth that erupted abnormally, or the presence of too much gum tissue taking over your teeth.
The most common procedure to help with excessive gum tissue is a gingivectomy. This procedure removes the excessive tissue, which reveals more of your teeth, improving your smile. This procedure is also known as crown lengthening sometimes.
Receding GumsThe opposite problem of a gummy smile is receding gums. This is when you have very little gum tissue protecting your teeth. Receding gums are often the result of gum disease or damaging habits that cause the gum tissue to be worn away, such as brushing your teeth too hard. This gum problem makes it look as if your teeth are getting longer. Some patients feel as if their smile is "all teeth" and refuse to smile due to the embarrassment.
If you want to eliminate your receding gum problem, a gum tissue graft will be necessary. This surgical procedure is done in the office, but is definitely a surgical procedure. The tissue is typically taken from another part of your body, such as the roof of your mouth, unless there is not enough tissue there, then other alternatives are explored.
Gum DiseaseGum disease is another reason that people are embarrassed to smile. This disease is typically not noticeable until it is in its latest stages. This is when the gums begin to recede, look puffy, and cause teeth to become loose. In addition, gum disease can give you chronic bad breath and even make your teeth shift. Gum disease is best treated in its earliest stages, before it shows any signs. This is only possible if you visit the dentist regularly to find out that you have the disease in the first place. If it gets to the point that you have swollen or receding gums, you likely have periodontitis and will need extensive treatments.
The first step is typically scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning of your gums, eliminating the bacteria in the pockets. Sometimes antibiotic treatment is necessary in the pockets of the gums to eliminate the infection. In addition, you may need further procedures, such as gum grafting, root canals, or even dental crowns or implants, depending on the damage that has occurred.
If you are unhappy with your smile, there are ways that it can be fixed. The key is to find out the reason behind the issue. If it is something serious like gum disease, you need to get to the root of the problem right away. Even if your problem is more of a cosmetic issue, such as a gummy smile, there are ways to fix your smile so that your self-esteem is boosted, enabling you to smile with ease!
Please call us for an appointment today!