Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

Too Much Gum When Smiling? There's A Solution For That

All smiles are good smiles, but some people show a little too much gum when they are happy. While many decide it's no big deal and resign themselves to living with it, some may become so embarrassed that they don't open up and smile as much. If that sounds like you or someone you know, read below and find out how simple it can be to take care of that issue with a gum lift.

Why Is Your Smile So Gummy?

A lot of appearance and health issues are inherited from your parents, and this is very true of your teeth. If your parents had to have orthodontia, you probably needed it also. Also inherited are the shape of your teeth, your tendency to get cavities, issues with your bite, and more. The tendency to show too much gum is also likely inherited. In most cases, it's not so much that your gums are too visible but that you have shorter than usual teeth in the front where it's most noticeable.

What Is a Gum Lift and How Can It Help?

A gum lift or crown lengthening may seem like a drastic step, but it's actually not that drastic. With a gum lift, your dentist will gently remove some of your gum tissue to expose more of your tooth. The entire procedure can take place in a single appointment in most cases. Take a look at an overview of what to expect with a gum lift:

  1. A numbing shot of lidocaine, such as what you get when you need a filling done, allows the procedure to be completed without causing you discomfort. If you want more serious levels of anesthesia, discuss it with your dentist. The key is to be as comfortable as possible during the process.
  2. After you are numb and comfortable, the dentist will remove a bit of gum tissue from the tops and/or bottoms of your teeth. Tiny sutures will close up any incisions. In some cases, a small amount of bone from your gum may also be removed.

What To Expect After the Gum Lift

As with most cosmetic dental procedures, it can take time to see the best results. Your gums may be sore, swollen, and irritated after your gum lift. It can take several days before you can see the full effects of the gum lift on your smile. In many cases, your dentist will ask you to return so that the sutures can be removed. Some people notice an extra level of sensitivity when drinking or eating hot or cold foods especially for the first few weeks after the lift. Give yourself time to get used to the newly exposed areas, and things will calm down soon.

To find out more about this simple but effective treatment for short teeth and gummy smiles, speak to a dentist in your area, such as Mark A. Massa, DDS, Inc.