Less Gummy, More Toothy: What A Dentist Can Do When Your Smile Looks Too Gummy

Dentist Blog

The appearance of your smile could have been bothering you for some time, and you've now decided to take action. It's not that there's anything wrong with the health of your smile, it's just that there's not enough of your smile. Do your teeth appear to be too small when compared to your gums? There's a surprisingly simple way to change the appearance of your smile, making it less gummy and more toothy. It's time to make an appointment at your local dentist's office.

Adding Height

You might think that a dentist will simply add height to your teeth—perhaps with the addition of dental crowns or by adding layers of tooth-colored composite resin (which is ordinarily used to fill cavities). Increasing the vertical dimensions of your teeth is not in your best interests.

Occlusal Relationship

Changing the height of your teeth affects your occlusal relationship, which is the relationship between your upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) sets of teeth when your jaw is closed. Artificially increased vertical dimensions will affect your ability to chew. Your muscles of mastication (which regulate chewing) will become strained and sore, which is why the heights of your teeth should not be modified. So if a dentist can't increase the height of your smile, how will they proceed?

Gum Line

Your dentist can create the impression that your teeth are taller and more prominent by focusing on your gum line. Your teeth are covered with dental enamel. The surfaces of your teeth beneath the gum line are covered with a substance called cementum, which is similar to enamel, although not as strong. Beyond the cementum are the tooth's roots, and these must remain submerged in gum tissues. Exposed roots lead to extremely sensitive teeth and make the tooth more susceptible to bacterial infection. Your dentist will proceed with appropriate caution.

Tissue Removal

A tiny amount of gum tissue can be removed from each tooth at the gum line. The teeth themselves remain at the exact same height, but with the excision of this gum tissue, your teeth will simply appear to be taller, making your gums less prominent when you smile. Your dentist must proceed cautiously to make sure that the lower reaches of the tooth are still protected, and that only your anterior teeth (at the front of your mouth) will be treated.

The Process

Your gums will be numbed, and your dentist may use a scalpel to manually sculpt your gum tissues or may in fact use a laser to remove excess tissue. Stitches are not always required, and although your gums will be swollen and tender for a brief period, it won't take long for your results to become obvious.

Those results can be amazing, and it really looks like your teeth are taller, even though you know they've stayed the exact same height.

Reach out to a local dentist office to learn more.


20 June 2023