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Mar 052011

A smile says a lot of things, including the state of your health. It can give an indication that you are suffering from gum disease. This can be concluded if too much of your gums show when you smile or inordinately long or small teeth show. Of course, this is just a possibility as these factors may be due to the way your face is structured.

If too much of your teeth show, it may mean that your gums have receded and treatment is in order. This can mean gum surgery. Sometimes, due to age or poor oral hygiene, the gum tissue shortens or recedes, exposing more of the tooth than normal. If this condition is ignored then root caries, bone loss and gingivitis can occur. The root surface also becomes very sensitive making it difficult to eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages. The tooth may become loose if there is loss of support of the surrounding bone or gums.

To rectify this, a periodontist or a gum specialist will try to bring the gum down to cover more of the tooth. This will require surgery. First the entire area is prepared by sanitising it. Then a part of the palate is selected from where a small piece will be removed. This piece is then joined to the gum. This will be done at the root side of the tooth where the gum has shrunk exposing the tooth. Anaesthesia will be used for the surgery so there is no need to worry on that account.

Antibiotics will be prescribed for a few days and medicated mouth wash is to be used to prevent infection. After a few days you can eat normal food items. Strictly follow the instructions given by the doctor because it is a surgery even if it is small.

On the other hand, a lot of gum shows when some people smile. The teeth look small because the gums cover a large portion of them. This is not harmful from the health point of view but treatment is for cosmetic purposes. Sometimes the reason for this condition is a long upper jaw bone or a short upper lip. At times grinding of teeth either while sleeping or inadvertently due to stress during the day, wears the teeth and reduces their size. This practice is harmful and needs to be stopped. De-worming and a more stress free environment can prove helpful.

A portion of the gum has to be removed to alter the smile. If a small portion has to be removed then a laser can be used. Otherwise conventional surgery has to be done and it may take up to two hours. The cost of both the surgeries depends upon how much gum tissue needs to be restructured. You can discuss with your surgeon the minimum possible intervention required to reduce the cost.