Your gingiva (gum tissues) are an important part of a healthy and beautiful smile. Not only do your soft tissues help to secure your teeth in the proper position, they’re a frame that accentuates the color and shape of each tooth.
When you have a “gummy” smile and too much tissue — or are suffering from gum recession and loss of gingival attachment — your gums could be creating an aesthetic or oral health problem that needs to be addressed. By correcting your soft tissues through “periodontal plastic surgery,” Dr. Nazir can help you establish a healthy balance that promotes a beautiful and stable smile.
“Why do My Gum Levels Matter?”
Depending on whether you have too much or too little gum tissue, your smile may be affected by one of a few different situations. Here are some of the most common:
If gums recede or shrink away from the tooth, it leaves a larger surface area exposed to the outer elements. When the roots are not protected by gingiva, they’re far more susceptible to developing cavities or experiencing sensitivity. But more importantly, recession means that there is loss of attachment around the tooth that can predispose it to becoming mobile or eventually falling out. Lost soft tissues mean lost bone; the only way to prevent additional loss of bone support is to stabilize the gum tissues so that they remain attached high enough on the tooth.
Too much gingiva creates a “gummy” smile that causes excessive soft tissues to cover healthy tooth surfaces. This can cause the teeth to look shorter than they really are, or uneven compared to adjacent teeth. Although this particular situation is not typically one that contributes to poor oral health, it does pose a significant aesthetic challenge. By recontouring the margins of the gums and raising the gumlines, our Orange County cosmetic dentist can reveal a fuller and brighter smile that you’ll feel confident about showing off.
Tooth sensitivity can become extremely uncomfortable when the root surfaces are exposed. Because this surface of the tooth is more porous than enamel, there are hundreds of microscopic nerve endings that can sense changes in temperature. Using products such as whitening toothpastes may also cause significant discomfort or painful throbbing. Covering the area with healthy gum tissue is a natural and effective way to prevent sensitivity related toothaches.