My smile is all gums and I hate it. I have small teeth, too, so whenever I smile, you see a little bit of teeth and a lot of pink gums. Is there anything I can do to change it? Could I somehow use porcelain veneers and at least have bigger teeth?
Sara, Grand Rapids
There is something you can do to fix your “gummy” smile, but it’s not a correction any regular dentist could accomplish.
If you have spoken to a dentist in the past about changing the way your gums or teeth look when you smile, it may have been recommended to see an oral surgeon to have your entire upper jaw shortened to fix it. This is a very extreme and unnecessary procedure that can lead to other complications. It can change your bite, which could then lead to problems with your upper jaw or TMJ.
Thankfully there are cosmetic dentists, dentists who have gone above and beyond the training of a regular dentist, who can perform what is called a “gum lift.” The dentist would remove a small amount of gum tissue and some of the supporting bone that was beneath the gum line for each upper front teeth. This would expose some of the roots of those teeth.
A porcelain veneer would then be placed over the tooth and the exposed root section. Cosmetic dentists can make the veneers look as natural as your existing teeth, with matching coloring. You then have a smile with less gums and more teeth that you desire.
Because this is not an easy procedure, you want to find the right experienced dentist to perform it. Don’t hesistate to call cosmetic dentists’ offices and ask if they have performed a gum lift before. If so, ask if they have a portfolio that would show pictures of the before and after cases.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Ryan Perry in Baton Rouge.