Gum Contouring for Small Teeth

Feb 26, 2019 — by Daniel Whiteman D.M.D.
Tags: Gum Contouring

Digital illustration of gum contouring for small teethExcess gum tissue can create a gummy smile and make the teeth appear shorter and boxier. Fortunately, there are several cosmetic dentistry options to bring balance and uniformity to the smile.

A gum lift, also referred to as cosmetic gum contouring, can eliminate excess gum tissue and reshape the gum line for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

Here, our Brookline, MA dental team explores gum contouring for small teeth, and explains how we can help you achieve the beautiful, brilliant smile you desire.

Why Do I Have Small Teeth?

There are a few different reasons why individuals may have small teeth. One of the most common, however, is a prominent gum line.

Excess gum tissue can conceal a large portion of the clinical crown, the part of the tooth that is typically visible above the gum line. When this occurs, the tooth-to-gum ratio is irregular, resulting in an uneven or gummy smile.

As a result, patients often feel self-conscious about their appearance, and are hesitant to smile or laugh without covering their mouths.

In addition to excess gum tissue, here are a few other reasons why small teeth may be an issue:

  • Orthodontic problems
  • Fractures
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching)
  • Genetics

Why a Gum Lift Can Address Small Teeth

In order to address a gummy smile, the teeth that are concealed by excess gum tissue need to be uncovered. Once more of the clinical crown is revealed, the tooth-to-gum ratio will improve, resulting in a more even, symmetrical appearance.

A gum lift can be performed using a scalpel and sutures. Most often, however, this procedure can be completed using an advanced dental laser. This reduces the risk for infection, bleeding, and other post-surgical complications.

At Whiteman Dental Associates, we use a WaterLase® dental laser, which cauterizes as it incises, eliminating excess tissue with incredibly accuracy.

Am I a Candidate?

To qualify for any type of cosmetic procedure, patients must be in good oral health. Therefore, they should be completely free of decay and gum disease. If these issues persist, restorative treatments should be completed prior to the gum lift.

Additionally, patients should be in good general health as well, able to safely undergo surgery.

Dr. Whiteman will perform a complete oral assessment prior to your gum lift. Carefully checking the location of the cemento-enamel junction (CEJ), where the crown meets the root of the tooth, he will plan your treatment accordingly to achieve optimal results.

Combining a Gum Lift with Other Procedures

In many cases, a gum lift alone can deliver the desired aesthetic results. In some instances, however, patients choose to combine gum contouring with other cosmetic procedures for a truly dramatic outcome.

Some of the most common treatments performed in conjunction with a gum lift include:

  • Dental bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Orthodontics

Contact Whiteman Dental Associates

If you are insecure about your smile because of small teeth, you are not alone. Find out if a gum lift is right for you. To explore your treatment options, contact us online or call our office at (617) 731-4746.

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