Sometimes a smile may be cosmetically displeasing due to its proportions, not the teeth themselves. This is the case when our Pittsburgh, PA periodontist patients come to our office, saying they dislike their “gummy” smile. A gummy smile is when the gums are significantly longer than usual. In some instances, patients gums are so long, they appear longer or the same length as the teeth themselves.
Gummy smiles tend to be genetic. If your parent or parents have a gummy smile, it’s likely you may too. When you smile, if you see more than two millimeters of gum tissue, you likely have a gummy smile. This occurrence is estimated to affect about 14 percent of women and 7 percent of men. Sometimes the teeth are too short, the gums are too long or a combination of both of these factors occurs.
At our office, we offer crown-lengthening surgery to reduce the appearance of a gummy smile. This surgical procedure removes the excess gum tissue uses sculpting techniques. The procedure is formed under local anesthesia and is a same-day procedure. You can return home immediately afterward. You may have some small sutures or stitches following the procedure. You will be given pain medicine and instructions on how to carefully care for your teeth following the procedure.
Crown-lengthening surgery is also used before placing a dental crown to cover a highly damaged tooth. This is because excess gum tissue around a dental crown can cause inflammation. This leads to increased discomfort and can affect your ability to comfortably wear the dental crown.
If you have a gummy smile, crown lengthening could be an option to help you smile more confidently. For more information about this procedure and to schedule a consultation at our Pittsburgh, PA periodontist’s office, please call (412) 364-6777.