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I have always thought that my smile showed my gums too much. I try to avoid smiling too wide but whenever I see myself in a photograph all I see is gums. Is there something we can do about this?

added on: January 20, 2012

Your situation is quite common and easy to change. We have very specific parameters for evaluating a person’s smile. They include how much of the upper teeth show in a smile, the person’s age, the curvature of the smile line, and how much gum tissue shows. When a person shows too much gum we evaluate for two possibilities. One is when there is a large amount of tissue covering over the natural tooth that disguises what would ordinarily be a very pleasing smile with a normal amount of gum showing. The second possibility is when the whole tooth shows but there is still a large amount of gum tissue visible in the smile. In either case, a simple procedure called crown lengthening is done where the gum tissue is pulled higher. This is not an arbitrary amount as usually a guide is made mapping the exact amount and position that the patient and doctor agree on beforehand. If the second scenario exists the crown lengthening is followed by restoring the newly exposed tooth roots to provide a spectacularly beautiful result!

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