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Framing a Stunning Smile


Americans undergo more than 11 million plastic surgery procedures annually that trim, shape and mold their bodies. Along with chin augmentations and tucks of every kind, smile enhancement treatments put the finishing touch on some smile makeovers.  And the details built into a brilliant smile shouldn’t be ignored, including the display of the gums. The gums, also known as gingiva, fill a vital role in the appearance of your smile. More importantly, healthy gums provide critical support to all teeth. 

When gums sit exactly where they belong, they blend nicely into the overall presentation of a smile.  But some people are concerned by too much pink when they flash a grin.  Others note that they’re getting “long in the teeth.”  Either scenario can upset the balance that makes up a pleasant smile.  Also, everyone’s lips move different distances when they smile.  So if a smile curves the lip up significantly, the gums may become front and center.  Suddenly the shape, form and general “architecture” of the tissue takes on higher visual value. 


In other instances, the lip stays close to its rest position during smiling and thoroughly hides the gums. But abnormal tissue around the teeth doesn’t show when the lip acts like a curtain that never fully opens.  So when you consider improving your smile, flash a happy grin in the mirror and see what shows.  If you see too much pink or elongated teeth, we can discuss ways to bring out a perfect smile.

An Artistic Touch

A plastic surgeon creates desirable body contours with a variety of procedures. In similar fashion, a periodontist specializes in treating gums to display visual appeal while establishing optimal health.  By considering the overall appearance of a smile, the perfect ratio of tooth display and gum coverage can be calculated.  If you smile and see too much of your gums, it may be possible to gently sculpt the tissue precisely to the right level. But sometimes the jaw bone position or movement of the lip significantly influences the gingival display significantly. In these cases, controlling what shows may be challenging. Regardless, we’ll help fit your gums nicely into your smile with harmonious contours and a healthy condition.

Teeth that look too long may be part of an optical illusion.  Receding gums expose roots that should be covered, adding a lengthy appearance to the smile.  So even though the biting edge of the teeth sits in a reasonable position, teeth with gum recession appear longer.  Exposed roots may also be sensitive to temperature and present a higher risk for developing fast-moving cavities.


A Natural Cover-Up

Fortunately, modern grafting techniques restore damaged areas with healthy gum tissue.  Sometimes gums simply need to be repositioned higher around the teeth, a simple but precise procedure that makes a big difference.  In many cases, tissue from another area of your mouth can be used to bolster thinning sections.  Other innovative materials and techniques fit specific problems, offering a host of solutions to common gum problems.  Not only does the result look better, but it also protects your teeth just as nature intended.

Plastic surgery of the gums brings the harmony of many smiles together and adds an outstanding finish to these cases.  We look forward to discussing ways to protect and enhance your appearance with the latest techniques...and helping you find the many rewards of ideal dental health!