How Crown Lengthening Can Give You a Brighter Smile
Nicole Kidman. Katie Couric. Jerry Seinfeld. What do these people have in common, besides talent, success, and a killer work ethic? The answer? Gummy smiles.
They’re not alone. Gummy smiles, otherwise known as “excessive gingival exposure” or “excessive gingival display,” affect approximately 10% of the population aged 20 to 30 years old. When we think about smiles, we usually think about teeth, not gums. Bright, beautiful, dazzling teeth. When a smile reveals not just teeth, but “too much” gum (also known as gingival tissue), we often find that less attractive.
So, how much gum is too much gum? Believe it or not, researchers have actually studied how varying levels of gum exposure alter the attractiveness of a smile. The results demonstrated that people rate smiles as more attractive when no more than about 2 to 2.5 mm of gingival tissue is exposed.
If you have a gummy smile, you probably already know it. Maybe you were teased as a kid. Or maybe you’ve noticed that your smile doesn’t look as pleasing as your friends’ smiles in photos. Perhaps you even hold your lips closer together when you smile, to avoid exposing too much of your gums.
What Causes Excessive Gingival Exposure?
There can be many causes for excessive gingival exposure, including functional issues of the jaws or lips. In some cases, your teeth may be smaller than normal, either due to genetics or because of wear and tear.
Most of the time, however, gummy smiles are simply caused by too much gingival tissue covering the teeth. Because the teeth are obscured by the gums, they look shorter than they should.
Don’t despair. In addition to the celebrities named above, many other Hollywood stars began life with gummy smiles. The reason you don’t notice them now is because gummy smiles can be fixed!
Would Botox Fix a Gummy Smile?
One way to treat a gummy smile is by using neuromodulators, such as Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin, to limit the mobility of the upper lip so that it can’t overexpose the gum line. However, too much Botox or Dysport in the wrong place could interfere with the natural look of your smile or create asymmetry in the lips.
Another disadvantage is that neuromodulators are just a temporary fix. Botox must be re-injected every few months. Add that up over the years, and you’ve made a significant investment in a treatment that doesn’t offer long-term results.
Luckily, Brentwood periodontists Dr. Aalam and Dr. Krivitsky can provide you with a permanent solution to excessive gums that won’t impair your smile or break the bank: a minimally invasive procedure called aesthetic crown lengthening.
What’s Aesthetic Crown Lengthening?
Also referred to as gingivectomy or a gum lift, aesthetic crown lengthening is a simple procedure that can be performed at our office under local anesthesia.
The exterior of a tooth is divided into three sections. The crown, or top of the tooth, which is basically the part we see; the neck, which is the tapered area that descends into the gum, and the root, which anchors the tooth deeply within the gum and dental bone.
In aesthetic crown lengthening, the excess gingival tissue is surgically removed to reveal more of a tooth’s crown. Your periodontist will gently reshape your gums, revealing the length of your beautiful, sparkling teeth to create a smile you’ll be proud to show off.
Some of the benefits of aesthetic crown lengthening include:
- It’s virtually pain-free
- Recovery time is fast — you can eat and drink after surgery
- You’ll see your results immediately: A beautiful new smile!
- It’ll be easier to take care of your gums and teeth
- Your chances of gum disease are lessened
- You’ll get a big confidence boost
Learn more about aesthetic crown lengthening and its benefits at WebMD.com.
Where Can I Get Aesthetic Crown Lengthening?
At the CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy, Alexandre-Amir Aalam, DDS, and Alina Krivitsky, DDS, are expert periodontists who specialize in treating the gums and dental bones. A husband and wife team, Dr. Aalam and Dr. Krivitsky serve the Brentwood/Los Angeles area. If you’re ready for a permanently beautiful and bright smile through aesthetic dental crown lengthening, call Drs. Aalam and Krivitsky today or use our handy contact form!