Periodontal Plastic Surgery for a Beautiful “Healthy” Smile

By on May 17, 2017
Periodontal Plastic Surgery for a Beautiful Healthy Smile

Teeth, it’s time to move over. The gums are having a moment.

By Dr. Mahnaz Rashti, DDS –

From whitening treatments to veneers, beautiful, straight, and healthy-looking teeth have long been the focus of our smiles. However, what more and more women are beginning to realize is all of that exterior “sprucing up,” can just as easily come crashing down if you don’t have a proper foundation in place first. In this case specifically, we are talking about the gums. Just as a fresh coat of paint will do little to resurrect a home with a collapsing structure, an expensive whitening treatment will have little long-term impact on a smile that is collapsing.

Our gums play an important role in not only the health and stability of our teeth, but also in the overall aesthetic appearance of our smiles. On a purely superficial level, when our gums are puffy, infected, or receding, we look older and our teeth become more susceptible to falling loose. This can eventually cause our faces to become hollowed and shrunken, making us take on a more aged appearance. However, even more worrisome is the underlying problems that may accompany swollen or diseased gums.

Gum disease has been linked to strokes, heart disease, premature birth, and even diabetes. In fact, one study published by the American Heart Association found gum disease to increase the risk of heart attacks by as much as 50 percent. With nearly half of all adults above the age of 30 affected by the condition, education surrounding periodontal health is now more vital than ever.

While there is no complete cure for gum disease, it can be treated and maintained under the care of an experienced periodontal dentist. At my practice in Beverly Hills, California, we use periodontal plastic surgery to correct a variety of dental woes pertaining to the gums and the bone responsible for holding the teeth in place. The goal of the surgery can range from purely aesthetic to purely functional. However, in recent years, there are three distinct periodontal plastic surgery treatments that are gaining significant attention:

close up portrait of a smiling mid adult woman

  1. Surgery to correct “gummy smile.” With our teeth long considered the star of our smiles, many women feel subconscious when their gum line takes center stage. While socalled “gummy smile” is usually a genetic disposition and generally has no medical impact on patients’ actual health, it is an incredibly common aesthetic concern.

    With periodontal plastic surgery, we are able to reshape the gum line to make short teeth appear more substantial and bring greater overall proportion to the smile. The entire procedure can be painlessly performed in one sitting using only local anesthesia.

  2. Surgery to correct receding gums. Receding gums can be caused by a full spectrum of factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and age. Habits such as brushing too hard, smoking, poor diet and hygiene can all negatively impact our gums. As gums recede, our teeth not only appear longer (and more aged), but they also become much more susceptible to decay.

    While at one time surgery to correct gum recession was a long and painful process, we can now correct the problem in as little as one day. Using the highly advanced and painless “pinhole” technique, patients are able to get fast results, without the need for sutures or a lengthy recovery.

  3. Surgery to correct tooth loss. When a tooth is lost, the entire smile can feel the effects. For one thing, it can completely change the structure of mouth, leading to what I call a “smile collapse.” In many cases, women will seek out highly invasive anti-aging procedures, like a facelift, to reinstate the youth of their face, when all they may actually need is a bone graft and implant.

    Depending on a patient’s unique situation, this type of procedure may need to be accomplished in stages. However, the final outcome is not only a more youthful appearance, but it also comes with several health benefits. For one thing, the replacement of a lost tooth can help individuals to chew their food much better, resulting in improved digestion and overall health.

If the teeth are the stars of our smiles, consider our gums their supporting cast. A set of bright pearly whites can only go so far without a healthy and well-proportioned set of gums to back them up. Luckily, patients are becoming more educated and informed about dental health than ever before. Periodontal plastic surgery is a trend that will not only lead to more youthful looking smiles, but also greater overall health…and that is something we can all smile about.

 

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Periodontal Plastic Surgery for a Beautiful “Healthy” Smile