Beautifully shaped, healthy white teeth are the key to an attractive smile. However, the rules of aesthetics in dentistry tell us that the eye is attracted to the ideal ratio of white (teeth) and pink (gums). When the gums are extremely visible we talk about a gummy smile. The causes of excessively visible gums can be varied, so the appropriate gummy smile correction will depend on what’s causing it.
If too much gum tissue is the issue, a periodontist can perform a gingivectomy.
The surgical procedure of removing excess gums or equalizing its height achieves an aesthetically much more attractive smile with larger, more visible tooth crowns and a harmonious flow of gums. A surgical procedure that removes excess gums is called a gingivectomy. It is performed under local anaesthesia and is completely painless. The results are noticeable immediately after the procedure, and the gums heal extremely quickly.
Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth's root.
Gingival recession causes not only aesthetic problems, but problems with tooth sensitivity, pain, or infection. The sensitivity occurs when the dentin, the part of the tooth which covers the nerve, is exposed either through loss of the enamel layer or recession of the gums. Drinking or eating hot, cold or sweet can trigger a reaction that results in discomfort the mouth.
Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease contribute to a gingival recession. However, receding gums can also happen in people with good oral hygiene.
Some people may also be prone to receding gums because of inherited factors.
Physical wear of the gums by vigorous tooth brushing or the use of hard bristles is a further, common cause of receding gums. Over-brushing causes receding gums even when dental hygiene might otherwise be good.