Most of our patients here at Jensen Orthodontic Arts think about tooth and jaw straightening and correction when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Things like braces, Invisalign, and even advanced treatments are offered exclusively with Jensen.
And that makes sense! That’s a big part of it! But did you know that another significant aspect of your orthodontic and dental health and treatment comes down to your gums? It’s true!
That’s why we asked Dr. Jensen to sit down with us and review the ins and outs of esthetic gingival contouring and ortho treatment. What is it? How does it affect my smile? How do we get started?
We’ll answer all these questions and more below, so keep reading!
Esthetic Gingival Recontouring – What Is It?
Let’s get started with the basics – what exactly is esthetic gingival recontouring? Simply put, it’s all about finding the right balance between the amount of gum and tooth exposed when you smile. That means that this is an aspect of cosmetic dentistry, and it’s all about giving you the most stunning smile possible.
Also known as gum reshaping or gum contouring, this is one of the go-to options for treating the infamous “gummy smile” you may or may not be familiar with.
A Gummy Smile? What’s That?
As the name suggests, a gummy smile is a common name for a smile in which a significant portion of the gum tissue is exposed when a patient smiles. While no “hard numbers’ exist on what does and does not constitute a gummy smile, experts agree that anywhere from three to four millimeters of exposed gum line is the magic number.
Following that thread, an estimated 14% of women, and 7% of men, have what could be considered a gummy smile. So don’t worry; you’re not alone!
What Causes A Gummy Smile?
There are a few different reasons why a patient might have what’s considered to be a gummy smile. One is simply genetic – that’s the smile they were born with. Again, millions of people have one, so it’s certainly nothing to be worried or ashamed about.
Another reason may be excessive wear that has led to a disruption in the tooth-to-gum ratio.
As teeth wear down, they become shorter. To compensate for this wear, the teeth slowly move towards each other in a process called compensatory eruption. This movement helps maintain a proper bite despite the shorter teeth. As the teeth move, the gums attached to them also shift, causing more gum tissue to be visible when smiling. This results in a gummy smile.
Another cause could be a hyperactive upper lip, in which the muscles of the lip overact, revealing more gum tissue than normal. Also, here’s what’s known as “vertical maxillary excess,” which is simply a complicated way of saying that the upper jaw is slightly overgrown, which leads to the upper lip resting too high above the gum line.
How Can Esthetic Gingival Recontouring Help?
Now that you’ve learned a little about the what and the why let’s talk about the how. As in, how can esthetic gingival recontouring work with orthodontic treatment to fix your smile?
No matter how you go about it, the procedure will involve reshaping the gum line to create a more balanced and proportionate appearance. It can be performed using various techniques, such as gum tissue removal, gum tissue grafting, or laser-assisted procedures. The specific technique used will come down to your unique needs, priorities, and the underlying cause or causes of the gummy smile.
By carefully sculpting the gum tissue, Dr. Jensen can create a more harmonious balance between the gums and the teeth, exposing an optimal amount of tooth structure. This will result in leaving you with a more aesthetically pleasing smile where the gums frame the teeth appropriately. There’s a reason we’re known as Jensen Orthodontic Arts, and it’s all about crafting the smile of your dreams, no matter your starting point!
So, What’s the Connection To Orthodontics?
Great question! Oftentimes, esthetic gingival recontouring will be performed in conjunction with orthodontic care to achieve the best possible result for you and your smile.
During orthodontic treatment, the repositioning of teeth can sometimes affect the gum line. For example, if a patient has a gummy smile due to excessive gum tissue, orthodontic treatment may help by moving the teeth into their proper positions. In some cases, this movement alone may alleviate the appearance of a gummy smile, eliminating the need for additional gingival recontouring.
On the other hand, there are instances where orthodontic treatment alone may not fully address the esthetic concerns related to the gum line. In such cases, gingival recontouring can play a valuable role. By reshaping the gum tissue, the periodontist can create a more aesthetically pleasing frame for the teeth. This can complement the outcomes of orthodontic treatment by ensuring that not only are the teeth aligned correctly, but the gum line is also in harmony with the newly positioned teeth.
To illustrate the relationship between esthetic gingival recontouring and ortho treatment, consider the case of a patient with crooked and misaligned teeth, as well as a gummy smile. In such a scenario, the patient may undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten and align the teeth properly. Once the teeth are in their desired positions, if a gummy smile is still evident, the patient may then undergo esthetic gingival recontouring to reshape the gum line and achieve a more balanced and pleasing smile.
The combined use of esthetic gingival recontouring and orthodontic treatment allows for a comprehensive approach to smile enhancement. By addressing both the alignment of the teeth and the appearance of the gums, patients can achieve optimal esthetic outcomes and improve their self-confidence in showcasing a beautiful smile.
Jensen Orthodontic Arts Has You Covered!
We’ve covered a lot of ground, and you may think that your esthetic contouring may require you to see a number of different specialists to treat – well, think again!
Dr. Jensen has worked hard to become a multi-disciplinary specialist in the field and has advanced expertise in a variety of different aspects of dentistry and orthodontics. In fact, he’s one of only a handful of combined orthodontic/prosthodontic specialists in the whole country!
That means that no matter where you’re starting from when it comes to your smile, Jensen Orthodontic Arts can take you all the way from A to Z. We proudly serve patients in and around McKinney, and we can’t wait for you to join our family! Give us a call today at 214-842-8106, or just fill out this form, and we can get started on the smile of a lifetime!