How To Fix A Toothy Smile
Gum Recession and Exposed Roots
With age as well as for many other reasons, gums can recede making the teeth appear longer and also feel sensitive to hot and cold foods or even to normal tooth brushing. This is due to gum loss which exposes the tooth root. Enamel which covers most of the tooth above the gum line does not cover the root. Exposed root therefore does not have the same protection that enamel provides. Without the enamel protection, exposed roots are more sensitive to hot and cold. Exposed roots are also at greater risk for getting cavities. In addition, exposed roots are at greater risk for gum disease and even more gum recession since it is often difficult to brush around exposed roots because of gum sensitivity or irritation.
A Periodontists is a specialist in treating gum problems, and able to regrow the gum tissue around exposed roots. A periodontists is also able to make the gums thicker and more resilient which can prevent gum recession. Covering exposed tooth roots should always be considered before the gum recession becomes severe in order to increase the chance of success for complete root coverage. This procedure is referred to as “tissue grafting” and your periodontist can tell you if it’s right for you.
Improving the quality and quantity of gums around your teeth will increase the chance that your teeth will last through your lifetime.
If you have lost one or more teeth, the shape of your gums may be deformed or have an irregular shape. These gum deformities are a natural consequence of losing teeth, since the gums and the supporting bone shrinks following tooth loss. These deformities in the gum can then adversely affect the look of the replacement teeth, often making the teeth look longer or wider and unaesthetic.
A Periodontist can work with your general dentist to reshape and enhance the gums where the teeth are missing so that the replacement teeth made by your dentist have the proper size and shape. This procedure is referred to as “Tissue Augmentation”.
Feel free to contact a member of the California Society of Periodontists for more information on the latest techniques in oral plastic surgery to help improve your smile.