Healthy teeth and gums are important but so is how you feel about your smile. Great looking healthy teeth are key to your comfort and your self-confidence. Your smile can show happiness, pride or amusement – all positive messages. A tightly lipped mouth, which often covers unattractive teeth, may telegraph a negative message. Cosmetic dentistry can help you smile, eat and speak with confidence. There are several periodontal procedures that can help you improve your smile, including soft tissue grafts to cover receding gums, crown lengthening to reshape a smile that is more gum than teeth and ridge augmentation to restore the natural look of your gums after a tooth is extracted.
Receding gums can expose tooth roots. They can result from gum disease or aggressive tooth brushing. Whatever the cause, you can enhance your smile and limit your sensitivity to hot and cold liquids with soft tissue or gum grafts. These grafts are used to cover roots and develop gum tissue where it has receded. Not only will this improve your smile and reduce your sensitivity to heat and cold – it can also protect the roots of your teeth from decay by providing them with a protective cover of grafted gum tissue.
Some people have the opposite problem from receding gums – they have too much gum tissue resulting in teeth that look short and a smile that’s more gum than tooth. We can remove that excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of your natural teeth. You may need this procedure on only one tooth, several teeth or your entire gum line.
While this is often a cosmetic issue, there are times when crown lengthening is necessary before we can begin restoring a tooth. For a tooth that has broken or decayed below the gum line, crown lengthening can expose more of the tooth so that it can be restored.
Losing a tooth is never pleasant, but getting an indentation in your gum where the tooth used to be can make your replacement tooth look out of place. What happens is your jawbone recedes when it no longer holds a tooth in place. It may make your replacement tooth stand out in a way you really don’t like. Ridge augmentation repairs this indentation, making your entire mouth look natural.