Periodontists Can Reshape Gum Tissues For A More Beautiful Smile

Posted on May 10, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontal Specialist, I have unique expertise in treating all stages of periodontal (gum) disease and in the placement of Dental Implants. Another part of my specialty is in the recontouring of gum tissues, or Periodontal Plastic Surgery.

Periodontal Plastic Surgery can greatly enhance the appearance of a smile!

Periodontal Plastic Surgery can greatly enhance the appearance of a smile!

While the shape, shade and length of teeth have a major impact on the appearance of a smile, so does the gum tissue that surrounds teeth. Think of your teeth as a window and your gums as the window frame. To ensure a balanced appearance of each window, the frame must be properly aligned in shape and size as well. Without it, an entire room would look ‘off.’ As with facial appearance, your smile is greatly affected by the appearance of teeth and their ‘frames’ of gum tissue.

There are several areas where gum reshaping can have a dramatic impact on a smile’s appearance. For those who are born with a ‘gummy smile,’ gum recontouring can restore the balance of gums to teeth and create a more beautiful smile.

In a gummy smile, too much gum tissue is exposed above the teeth most visible in a smile. This is a genetic trait and certainly doesn’t affect oral health. The detriment, for many with a gummy smile, is it causes them to refrain from smiling fully. Some with this trait smile with lips only and some conceal their smile with a hand.

The procedure to correct a gummy smile can be done in one visit. Excess gum tissue is removed and the remaining gums are arched over each tooth for a natural appearance. In most cases, porcelain crowns or veneers are placed to accentuate the natural look and feel of the teeth involved. The result is a fabulous smile that can be shared fully and joyfully!

Gum reshaping is also done when certain teeth are bordered by more gum tissue than that bordering surrounding teeth. The procedure most commonly performed to correct this is crown lengthening. This is usually done in conjunction with crown placement but may be possible in mild cases of excess gum tissue.

Crown lengthening helps to establish an appealing, balanced smile line that ‘frames’ each tooth with an arch similar to that over adjoining teeth. The procedure requires just one visit and healing time is generally minimal.

Another way that Periodontal Plastic Surgery can enhance the appearance of a smile is grafting to repair gum recession. This is when the gum tissue pulls away from the base of the tooth, exposing darker, more sensitive tooth root sections. Causes of receded gums are often due to age, bite misalignment, gum disease and over-zealous brushing.

Also referred to as Gingival Grafting, this procedure typically involves taking a small area of tissue from the roof of your mouth (which heals quickly) and placing it over the area of recession. It is secured in place for a healing period of approximately two weeks. The results restore the look of a healthy, naturally-framed tooth.

A Periodontal Specialist not only provides you with the skills to create an optimal outcome, he or she understands the TLC needed for minimal disruption to the gums involved. This tender, vulnerable tissue requires a gentle touch and precision hand to provide each patient with an exceptional result with minimal healing time required.

The next time you walk into your living room, pay particular attention to the windows. Imagine the windows having different sized frames that are mismatch on each side and worn. The entire room would look less inviting. When it comes to your smile, your gums help to create an ‘inviting’ smile that makes a positive impression.

Ask about Periodontal Plastic Surgery to enhance the appearance and health of your smile during a consultation appointment. Call 828-274-9440 to schedule.


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