Treating Excessive or Uneven Gums

When you smile broadly, what do people notice? Hopefully, they see your white, even teeth. However, with some individuals, what shows cosmetic dentistryfirst is uneven or excessive amounts of gum tissue--what the American Academy of Periodontology calls a "gummy smile." Can this smile defect be treated? In Henderson, NV, your Green Valley Dental Center dentists, Dr. Brad Wilbur and Dr. Emily Ishkanian, understand the aesthetics of gum tissue and how to help patients who have too much or too little.

Gums outside the norm

Beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder as the old adage goes, and it applies to what smile components make you look and feel attractive. White, even teeth surely are one component of a winning smile. So is dental alignment. But what about your gum tissue?

In their experience, Dr. Wilbur and Dr. Ishkanian find that tooth length and the amount of gum tissue which shows should be balanced by smile width and height. Additionally, because gum tissue nourishes and helps to anchor your teeth, it needs to be adequately sized and healthy. Too little tissue leaves roots exposed and too much poses a risk for infection and teeth that look unnaturally short.

People have differences in gum length for a variety of reasons. Commonly, they include:

  • An upper lip that simply rises too high when the person smiles
  • Improper eruption of teeth (they don't come far enough into the mouth)
  • Brushing too aggressively (which pushes gums back)
  • Heredity (gummy smiles run in families)

Treating the gums

Most gum grafting (gingivoplasty) or gum removal (gingivectomy) procedures can be done right in the treatment chair at Green Valley Dental Center. For instance, a gingivectomy, or crown lengthening, involves removing a small amount of tissue from selected teeth. For this treatment, topical or local anesthetic usually is sufficient.

Alternatively, your dentist in Henderson may suggest a completely different cosmetic treatment to change the appearance of your uneven gums. Called porcelain veneers, these dental laminates cover the front side of selected teeth, improving aesthetic defects such as tooth length. This is a minimally invasive way to make teeth look longer and gum tissue more appropriately sized.

Get your best smile

You can with a consultation at Green Valley Dental Center in Henderson, NV. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums and suggest ways to balance their appearance. Contact the office for an appointment, won't you? Phone (702) 896-8933.