Are Your Gums Hurting Your Smile?
- February 16, 2016
“You should smile more.”
“You look so angry. Is something wrong?”
“Why aren’t you smiling? Are you not happy?”
Have you ever heard any of those statements or something similar? If so, is it because you don’t smile?
Is it because you are embarrassed or ashamed of your teeth? How about your gums?
We can help. At Gentle Dental Care, we provide cosmetic dentistry (in addition to our preventive care and restorative services), and today we want to discuss two ways that your gums may be changing your smile.
We’ll also explain how we can help improve your smile at our dentist office in Plainville, CT.
How Gums Can Affect Your Smile
Your gums are part of your mouth. They are just as important to your oral health and to the appearance of your smile as your teeth.
Gum tissue is visible whenever your smile. It’s usually not the main thing people see, but your gums are always there, filling in space and helping to “frame” your teeth between your lips.
If you’ve been told that your have a “gummy smile,” it’s because other people can see a lot of your gums whenever you do smile. This is probably not something that you can control on your own.
When you smile, your lips part a certain way, and they rest where they rest because of the shape and size of your gums.
Defining what is a “gummy smile” can be a little tricky. What matters is if you feel like your smile is too gummy, and it affects your self-esteem.
If you are embarrassed that you show more gum than teeth, then you may try to avoid smiling as much as possible.
This means no smiling in photographs that are posted on social media. This means no smiling when you are out in public. This means no smiling when you meet new people at work and in social situations.
You could understand why people may think you are an unhappy person if they’ve never seen you smile in public. This may not be how you feel about yourself, but it can affect how others act toward you.
Show Your Pearly Whites
If you would like to feel more comfortable sharing your smile, there are two procedures we can perform that can alter the gum-to-tooth ratio when you part your lips.
➤ Gum Reshaping
One of the more common reasons that people have a gummy smile is because they have larger than average gum tissue.
The excess of gums affects how your lips rest when you smile. If your gums are thicker than average, then your upper lip may rest higher on your gums.
This changes what people see so that half or even more of your smile is just your gum tissue. We can correct this issue by removing some of your gum tissue.
If you had a severe gum disease, we could perform surgical procedure to remove the infected part of your gums. Gum reshaping is similar only for a different purpose. We still numb your gums (and we can give you sedation if you prefer) so you will not feel anything during your procedure.
This is simply removing part of your gum tissue, which changes where your lips rest when you smile. This can leave your teeth-to-gum balance more in line with where you would like it to be.
➤ Crown lengthening
Crown lengthening is a bit of a misnomer. We don’t actually make your crowns longer. Instead we expose more of the crowns of your teeth by removing some of your gums.
You may be wondering how this differs from gum reshaping.
The reason we would do crowning lengthening is because of how your teeth erupted. Some people’s teeth don’t push out as far as others, which can leave the teeth looking short in comparison to your gums.
When this happens we aren’t removing tissue to change where the lips rest. Instead, we are removing gum tissue to reveal more of the crowns of your teeth.
We Want To See You Smile, Too
One of the best parts of cosmetic dentistry is seeing how it can lift the spirits of our patients.
Maybe you were teased about your smile as a child, and that is still affecting you emotionally. With gum reshaping and crown lengthening, we have two procedures that we can perform in our dentist office to give you a smile you are proud to share.
If you live in or near Plainville, CT, call Gentle Dental Care at 860-479-2397 or use our online form to make an appointment.