If you’re happy with the length of your teeth and the ratio of tooth-to-gum that shows when you smile, you’ve probably never thought much about these things. But if you feel that you have a particularly gummy smile or particularly short teeth, these concerns might plague you every time you look in the mirror or see a photo of yourself smiling.
It’s perfectly normal to have cosmetic concerns about the length of your teeth. We associate short teeth with older people because over time, teeth become worn down with use. This means that older people typically have shorter teeth, and often their teeth don’t show when they aren’t smiling. If your teeth are short, you may look older than you really are as a result.
But don’t worry: You aren’t stuck with short teeth! Depending on what is causing the “short teeth” effect in your smile, there are solutions available.
For “Gummy” Smiles
Even when your natural teeth are a normal length, if your gums cover too much of your teeth, it can cause your teeth to appear short. This can cause what is generally referred to as a “gummy smile,” when the tooth-to-gum ratio of your smile is imbalanced and too much of your gums show when you smile.
For a gummy smile, the solution is simple: Cosmetic gum recontouring. In this procedure, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area, and then a soft tissue laser to trim away excess gum tissue. The laser will seal the tissue as your dentist works, so you won’t need any stitches. This procedure can expose more of the natural tooth, making your teeth appear longer and balancing the ratio of your smile.
For Short Teeth
However, not all “short teeth” are a result of overgrown gums. Some people actually do have shorter teeth than average, in which case gum recontouring wouldn’t be helpful. In these cases, it may make more sense to lengthen your existing teeth with a different procedure.
For example, porcelain veneers can effectively lengthen existing teeth. Veneers are made from durable dental ceramic and are custom tinted and shaped to match your existing teeth, allowing for a wide range of aesthetic results to ensure that they look as natural as possible. Or in some cases, your dentist may suggest a dental crown instead.
Of course if your teeth are short due to unusual wear and tear, such as the wear that results from grinding or clenching your teeth, it’s also important to identify the cause of the issue and correct it, so that you won’t be faced with the same problem in the future. Clenching and grinding, known as “bruxism,” could be a sign of a deeper concern, like TMJ or another bite issue.
No matter what is causing the appearance of short teeth, you can have a well-balanced smile before you know it. Call (02) 9686 7375 or contact us online to make an appointment My Hills Dentist, serving the Sydney area from Baulkham Hills.