If you're concerned that your teeth are smaller than average, guess what? They're probably not. Certainly, there are variations between the sizes of teeth from person to person, but these differences are negligible. It might be that your teeth look smaller than average, but this can be because a significant amount of your tooth's structure is hidden beneath your gums.
Crowns and Enamel
The visible section of a tooth is called its crown, and this is the part of its structure that erupted from your gums. The visible outer layer of the crown is made of enamel, which is a translucent, highly-mineralised material. This ultra-strong enamel is what helps to protect the inner parts of your tooth from decay.
A Cosmetic Solution
Just because it seems like a tooth didn't vertically erupt as far as it could have, it doesn't mean that there's anything untoward about your teeth or your overall bite. Especially prominent gums can be concealing the rest of a tooth's crown, and yet it's not a clinical issue as it doesn't impact the functionality and health of your teeth. It's a cosmetic issue and one that's not especially difficult for a dentist to correct.
Extraneous Gum Tissue
Gum reshaping is nothing more than the removal of extraneous gum tissue. A dentist can sculpt your gums with a scalpel, or even using a laser. Not all patients are candidates for laser gum reshaping, but it can be the favoured option, since the laser cauterises the tissues as it goes, resulting in less bleeding and swelling. Even when your dentist uses a scalpel to sculpt your gum line, bleeding and swelling will be minimal. Once this fades, you'll be able to take a clear look at the final results.
The Cementoenamel Junction
Before reshaping a patient's gums, a dentist will ensure that the removal of these tissues won't endanger the tooth. Only a fractional amount of tissue will be removed, and the exposed surface should be previously concealed enamel. Further down the tooth's surface is an anatomical division called the cementoenamel junction. This is where the tooth's surface enamel gives way to cementum.
Cementum is similar to enamel, but instead of being the outer layer that forms part of the tooth's crown, it actually covers the tooth's root. It's weaker than enamel, so won't withstand decay too well. This is why it must remain covered by your gums, and any gum reshaping will take the cementoenamel junction into account.
Only a tiny amount of gum tissue will be removed, but the difference will be considerable. Your smile will be more prominent, with a perfectly sculpted gum line.
Contact a dentist near you to learn more.Share
17 January 2023
As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.