Cosmetic Gum Surgery
Sometimes, patients with wide smiles detect that their gums are receding from one or more teeth, making their smiles less attractive. Today these problems can be solved with mucogingival surgery techniques that offer excellent results.
As always, it is necessary to make a correct diagnosis of the case, analyse the causes and then choose the correct technique for your specific case.
First, it is important to rule out the existence of underlying periodontal disease (pyorrhea), in which case it must be treated first. Once we have analysed the case and obtained the necessary conclusions, we take the decision to carry out the surgery. To do so there are different techniques that we can perform.
We can perform a sub-epithelial graft (a connective tissue graft taken from the palate and placed at the recession area; the graft is then covered by gum from this area), or perform a double papilla flap (stretch the gum from both sides of the recession area and connect it in the centre), or add a membrane made of polytetrafluorethylene which causes the tissue to regenerate, guided by the membrane.
We can also make short teeth appear longer by removing part of the gum covering the crown of the teeth, known as a gingivectomy.
Also, it is quite usual that after orthodontic treatment the roots of some teeth may become visible. We can halt this recession with a free gum graft also taken from the palate, which we attach to the base of the retracted area to create a strong strip of gum that stops the recession. In a second stage we can pull the strong gum towards the crown to cover the retracted area.
The solution to the gums that are too long ("gummy smile") may be the tooth crown lengthening, which is the second most common cosmetic periodontal procedure among patients younger than 50 years, according to a survey conducted among many periodontists. With crown lengthening, excess gum and bone tissue is recontoured to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to a tooth to match the gum line, or to several teeth to expose a wide natural smile.