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gummy smile fix

Fixing a Gummy Smile

What is a Gummy smile? A person’s smile can be called a gummy smile if a significant amount of gingival (gums) tissue can be seen by others when that person smiles.  A gummy smile by itself is not considered to be unhealthy or abnormal. It has been long considered by dentists a normal variation of human anatomy. Many people with a gummy smile tend to be very self conscious of how they smile, and tend to not smile as broadly.

A gummy smile tends to make the teeth look short and unhealthy. The gingival tissue should be at or just above the neck of the tooth, called the cementoenamel junction. In cases of a gummy smile, the tissue may cover 50% or more of the teeth. The gummy smile can be caused by a variety of things. These can include higher than normal bone tissue, possible incomplete eruption of the tooth, excess gum tissue, or abnormally thick gingival fibers. The presence of excess gum tissue makes maintenance of oral hygiene very difficult or at least more difficult than for patients without a gummy smile. This can lead to unhealthy tissue that can bleed easily as well as increased risk for tooth decay. The excessive tissue will allow food and bacteria to get lodged underneath, causing red, swollen gums and bleeding. This early situation is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease. If this goes untreated the gingivitis

Gummy smile before fix

Gummy Smile – Before

leads to  periodontal disease with progression toward tooth loss. Most people notice this just on the front teeth but it can also happen in the back teeth as well.

Cosmetic dentistry is a great way to fix the gummy smile problem and can be quite rewarding for patient and doctor alike. Upon final completion of a case the results are usually quite dramatic. The completed result is usually noticed by everyone around the patient increasing their self esteem almost immediately. Changing the way you smile can positively change your outlook on life. Patients tend to smile more, and feel more confidence and pride in appearance. When patients return for follow up visits they almost always report they should never have waited so long to have this treatment done. It is that dramatic.

Using cosmetic dentistry to correct a gummy smile is very straightforward. There are two separate procedures to fix a gummy smile. The type of procedure needed depends on the cause of the gummy smile. Whether it is removal of excess gum tissue or, removal of excess bone, or a combination of the two.

gummy smile after fix

After – Gummy Smile procedure

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures to fix a Gummy Smile

1) Gingivectomy. A gingivectomy is simply the removal of excess gum tissue. By removing the excess tissue and reshaping the gums, you end up with a very cosmetic result. During this procedure a very small amount of gum tissue needs to be removed. The Dentist will generally use a laser, an electrical cautery unit, or periodontal incisions to complete the reshaping and removal of gum tissue. Although the procedure is generally quite painless, local anesthetic is necessary. The treatment requires no sutures and typically the gingival tissue heals within 1-2 weeks. A gingivectomy is usually the prescribed procedure when only a few teeth are affected by the gummy smile. Sometimes, the bone must also be remodeled to correct the problem. Which leads us to #2…

2) Crown Lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is removed and reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one or more teeth to expose a natural, even, wide smile. This procedure is a bit more advanced but still relatively easy to perform by a trained dentist or specialist. The gum tissue is removed in the same way as in a gingivectomy, the bone removal requires rotary instrumentation.

There is a very low risk of complications for both procedures. Any discomfort following the procedures can usually be handled by over the counter medications. Patients will see results immediately. But over the next few weeks following the procedure it will look even better. This is because the gingival and bone tissues need time to fully heal. Once fully healed they will see the full effect of a beautiful and healthy smile and can say goodbye to their old gummy smile!

 

 

Avulsed Tooth is the complete displacement of a tooth from its socket in alveolar bone from trauma.

Dentists generally refer to a tooth that has been knocked out as an avulsed tooth. The accidental loss of a tooth through trauma ( avulsed tooth ) is considered a very serious dental emergency for a permanent tooth (occurs in about 1/10th of the population). For an avulsed primary tooth re-implantation is generally not successful, and is usually left alone. For a permanent tooth if you act quickly enough there is a chance the avulsed tooth can be saved and maintained for many years. Even the best techniques and intentions do not always lead to a successful outcome for an avulsed tooth.

The usual cause of an avulsed tooth is a  force sufficient to break the bond between the tooth and the connection (periodontal ligament ) to the bone. An avulsed tooth has no oxygen or blood flow and will die quickly if not re implanted. The primary goal of quick reimplementation is to maintain the periodontal ligament, so that the tooth is not rejected. The avulsed tooth will always need to be splinted to the other teeth, and usually, but not always, require a root canal. The speed in which the tooth is re implanted, the cleanliness of it, and how hydrated or wet it has been all play key roles in whether or not re-implantation of the avulsed tooth will be successful.

Instructions for an Avulsed Tooth

If a tooth has avulsed due to trauma it must be re implanted in its socket within 60 minutes (or sooner if possible) of the accident for the best chance of a positive result (i.e. tooth remains in position). It is important to keep the root surface of the avulsed tooth moist. This is the reason for the need for speed when re implanting the tooth.

An avulsed tooth, whose structure is maintained without any major fracture, must be re-implanted in its socket within an hour after the accident for best chances for it to remain in position. The best option is to attempt re-implantation within the first few minutes at the site where the accident occurred. The avulsed tooth should be attempted to be cleaned and placed back into the socket ( hole in jaw ) by an adult. This can be either the person who lost his or her tooth or by an adult if a child has suffered the trauma. If the avulsed tooth goes back into its socket where it was originally then it would be considered to be a successful re-implantation.

smileIf the avulsed tooth is dirty, it is vitally important that it is cleaned, the best way is with the patient’s own saliva by putting it in their mouth. Once the avulsed tooth is cleaned in this manner the patient should spit out any blood and dirt in mouth. While spitting, you probably will remove the blood clot forming in the avulsed tooth socket. This will allow an easier re-implantation of the avulsed tooth into the socket. the tooth can also be rinsed with cold water or milk. When the avulsed tooth is as clean as you can get it, it should be placed back in the socket as soon as possible. The quicker it is done, the better the chance for success. There are also “tooth saver” kits made to hold and keep the avulsed tooth wet for transport to a dentist.

If the avulsed tooth cannot be repositioned in its socket for any reason, then it should be brought to the dentist as soon as possible. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

1) The avulsed tooth should be rinsed and cleaned as explained above. The person who had the accident must then keep the avulsed tooth in their mouth. They should keep the avulsed tooth under the tongue or between the cheek and back teeth or lip and front teeth. If the trauma happened to a young child the previous advice should be disregarded as they can swallow the tooth. In such a case, the avulsed tooth should be rinsed and placed in milk, or in water with salt. Go to your dentist as soon as possible.

2) After cleaning with saliva, the avulsed tooth can be put in a solution of water and salt. A half a teaspoon of salt should be mixed in a cup of water. It is best to use bottled water if it is  available, but tap water can also be used in a pinch.

3) The avulsed tooth can also be placed in fresh room temperature milk. The patient and avulsed tooth in solution should be brought to the dentist as soon as possibleSave-a-tooth avulsed tooth kit

4) There is a commercial product available for the storage of an avulsed tooth. It is called Save-A-Tooth. This is a small container containing fluid to help preserve the avulsed tooth  for easy transport and re-implantation.

Exceptions to the Rule

The instructions above are recommended for adult teeth only. If a primary tooth (also called baby tooth) has avulsed following an accident, the re-implantation will not really work.

-If the adult avulsed tooth is broken or has visible fractures following the trauma, and or its root remained in the socket, the re-implantation will not be successful. This is because the tooth will not reattach to its root, and a fractured tooth will continue to break down.

Prognosis of Avulsed Tooth following Re-Implantation

It should be remembered that even if you follow all of these recommendations precisely, the tooth in question may eventually need to be extracted. If the instructions are followed correctly, chances are better that the tooth may remain in position.  An immediate splinting to the other teeth is optimal to take stress off the tooth and allow for healing. It may eventually need root canal treatment and possibly a crown to restore the avulsed tooth to its full form and function.

The re implanted  tooth can also seem to be fine for a few months or even a few years before it eventually becomes a problem.

At the Dentist Office

Putting the avulsed tooth back in its socket sometimes can be quite easy. And sometimes it can be very complicated, such as when the tooth or bone is fractured or broken. Your dentist may use water to flush debris from the socket. Then they will attempt to slide the avulsed tooth back into place. As mentioned earlier, it is most important to re implant the tooth as soon as possible. Ideally, this should occur within the hour of the accident.

The best course to take will depend upon how long the tooth was out of the mouth and amount of trauma. In either case, the dentist will splint the avulsed tooth to the teeth on either side with a soft wire and/or a resin material. This will be used to maintain the tooth in place for days-weeks.

If the bone around the tooth was not fractured, the root usually will reattach firmly to the bone in about three to four weeks. More extensive damage to the area may need 6-8 weeks of healing time.

Your dentist should examine the tooth again in three to six months to ensure the tooth is doing fine with no evidence of infection occurring. If there are no signs of infection, the next visit will be at your yearly dental examination. The dentist will then continue to monitor the tooth for the next 2-3 years to ensure that the tooth re implanted successfully.

 



A Bright and Shiny smile is a wish for the young and old. Your own teeth may be a little dull looking. You have clean, healthy teeth but you wish they were several shades whiter. A confident smile expresses capability and a belief in oneself.  A bright smile lights up a face. It makes a person look younger, with increased vitality. If you have a beautiful smile, everything about you seems positive. You can have such a smile with the help of teeth whitening.

Of all the cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by dentists, teeth whitening is by far the most popular.This is probably due to the lower cost of teeth whitening versus other cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is estimated that ten million Americans will spend  $1.7 billion on teeth whitening products and services this year. Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry service provided by dentists, and there are also a growing number of over-the-counter teeth whitening products to choose from. For those with little or no other dental problems,  teeth whitening is one of the most successful cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be done. The results can be spectacular. Patients will see an increase in self esteem following a whitening procedure. Virtually everyone can have their natural teeth whitened no matter how dark they are. However, old fillings, whether old fashioned mercury-silver amalgams or more modern composites(tooth colored fillings), or porcelain do not whiten. These older restorations would need to be replaced and updated to the new color of your teeth if you were to opt for teeth whitening.

Types of Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening

Cosmetic Dentistry – Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening products are available at the dentist’s office and also over-the-counter. Visiting a dentist for teeth whitening is the most effective and quickest way to whiten your teeth because the whitening materials are stronger than what is sold in the stores. That said, teeth whitening occurs at different levels for different patients.

What happens when you whiten your teeth? You are removing a lifetime of accumulated stains from food, candy, teas, sodas and wine. For smokers, the nicotine from tobacco leaves dark brown and yellow stains that will not just brush away. Tooth enamel is a crystal, like a diamond with many facets. Over time, stains collect between the facets and discolor the teeth. The peroxide cleans out the stains.  It is not an acid and does not damage the enamel. You can get as many teeth whitening treatments as you like.  This allows your teeth to return to a more natural state of whiteness and brightness. Teeth whitening is not a one time procedure. It will need to be repeated every so often if you want to maintain your whiter, brighter smile.

Generally, there are three types of teeth whitening:

1) In Office Teeth Whitening (also called Dentist supervised teeth whitening). In office teeth whitening involves the controlled use of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, tailored to a particular patient. Most in-office systems use gels with 15-35%  carbamide peroxide.  The dentist can whiten your teeth in approximately one hour using this higher concentration gel that is activated by a special light. This is the best and most effective technique that gives you the fastest and most accurate result due to the precision of the dentist and materials used.

2) At Home Teeth Whitening. Impressions are taken of your teeth so custom whitening trays can be fabricated just for you. The dentist will give you tubes of tooth whitening gel, usually enough for about 2 weeks of application. At-home systems will use a lowered carbamide peroxide concentration gel. You will asked to wear the trays with the gel for a minimum of 2 hours per day. Most patients prefer to sleep with trays in so it works overnight as well. This treatment usually takes approximately 2 weeks but in difficult cases may take up to 6 weeks. The cost is usually about half the cost of the in-office method, but for many people, the additional time required and inconvenience make it less popular.

3) Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening Products. This is the least successful way and involves using products purchased from your local drug store. A few of these over-the-counter products can work very well in selected cases. Many of these products do not have FDA approval and most have only varying degrees of success. It can be very hard to get this method of teeth whitening to give optimal results.

Studies have confirmed that teeth whitening is safe and effective. Teeth Whitening gels that contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide have not been shown to cause any damage to the enamel of the tooth. Higher concentrations of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide available from the dentist may weaken the enamel, but most of these formulas also contain fluoride offsetting this potential side-effect. Patients who use higher concentrations of whitening agents can further protect their teeth thru the use of  prescription fluoride gel or rinse..

Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation can occur. If either occurs it is best to start using the whitening product less frequently (usually recommended to whiten every other day instead of every day) and reduce the amount of time spent whitening. Sensitivity is treated via a prescription fluoride. Irritation of the gums can occur from either the in-office, at-home or over-the-counter tooth whitening systems. Gum irritation is usually mild and reversible, but can be treated with over-the-counter products such as Orajel (to relieve the discomfort).

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

teeth whitening

cosmetic dentistry – teeth whitening

Bottom line, in teeth whitening, you trade money for time. The more you invest, the shorter the time and the more successful the result. It is important to have realistic expectations regarding what the results might be. Several treatments may be needed to achieve a whiter smile. Teeth Whitening results may not be permanent, as your teeth will naturally pick up stain from foods, drinks, or tobacco use. Remember to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and examinations. Teeth whitening results will vary from patient to patient, so choose an option that will suit your budget and specific need.

A beautiful smile can open doors. Which one will open for you?

 

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Most kids, will always choose to do the fun activity over the boring one. If the task is not fun it will be rushed through or avoided all together. This can also apply to how well children brush and take care of their teeth. This is one area kids definitely need our guidance to maintain a healthy smile.

The following are four easy ways to encourage your kids to own their smile and at the same time improve their oral health:

1) Make Brushing Fun! – Most dentists recommend brushing for a minimum of two minutes. Two minutes can feel like forever for a kid. To get your child to brush and floss properly, try making Pediatric Dentistrya game out it. Set a timer for two minutes and challenge your child to brush until the timer goes off, or sing twinkle twinkle star twice. Cute, fun toothbrushes are in stores everywhere. Choose one that’s small enough for your child to hold comfortably by his or herself, with a small, rounded head and very soft, polished bristles. I also recommend an electric toothbrush for little ones. Makes it easier to use and makes them feel like big grown ups. Should be replaced every few months, particularly for preschoolers who tend to chew while they brush. For babies, a soft finger toothbrush, or wet washcloth are easiest to use for you and them. Some children’s toothbrushes also have lights that flash or music that plays which serves as a built-in timer. Set the timer again for two minutes for flossing. There are also fun flossers that make it easier to do the best job possible. Another tip would be to brush with your child — Stand side-by-side in front of the bathroom mirror and brush together. Have fun. Let your child mimic your brushing technique. I would also recommend the use of a plaque disclosing solution. This solution will allow you and them to see where the plaque is before brushing and what was missed after brushing. Then you can “help” them remove the last of the plaque. Once the color is gone, the plaque is too!

2) “But Why??” Explain it all to them – It’s important for kids to know “Why” they are doing things. Brushing and flossing are no different. If they are simply told to do it, it becomes a chore and they will most likely resist. If they realize it’s a good thing for them,  or it is fun, they may be more likely to take the challenge on themselves. Be sure to explain the importance of brushing and flossing in simple terms kids can understand. For example: “Flossing is important because it removes cookies and food left between your teeth. Do you want tooth bugs stuck in between your teeth?” At your child’s next dental checkup, ask your dentist to show visually proper brushing and flossing techniques.

3) Monitor Sweets and Candy – It’s no secret that kids love candy and sweets. But it’s important for kids to know that eating too many sweets causes cavities. Try to keep sugary snacks limited to later in the day to ensure you child brushes away the sugar with his or her evening brushing and flossing regimen. Or if they are going to have sugar at other times make sure they at least rinse but preferably brush as well following the sweets. Also avoid fruit gummies or roll ups these are the worst types of sugar because they lodge between teeth, stick and stay . They are candy not healthy like actual fruit and they are not nutritious.

4) Give kids incentives to achieve – Set a goal with your child to get a “perfect score” the next time he or she has a dental checkup. This, of course, means your dentist finds no cavities! Establish a reward your child will earn for having a perfect checkup, such as that new video game or doll they have been wanting. Make sure they understand that brushing, flossing, and limiting sweets are all ways to reach their goal. You can even tape a photo of the reward to the bathroom mirror for daily reinforcement. Tell yourdentist about the reward system, so he or she can also encourage your child at each checkup. If you are still finding cavities, diet may need to be looked at more closely, and Fluoride may need to be incorporated. Ask your dentist to advise. Remember to schedule your child’s dental checkups every six months. Very important to stay on schedule and go when needed. You are laying the foundation for your child’s oral health throughout life.

Ask your dentist for more tips and tricks to keep our kids teeth cavity free!