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You have probably heard of the hazards of a receding gum line. If the gums are too low and reveal too much, teeth can decay and become infected. It is one of the main hazards of serious gum disease. But you might not know that having too much gum can also be problematic. While it is mainly an aesthetic concern, high gums can interfere with noncosmetic procedures as well.

“Crown lengthening” might seem like a slightly misleading name at first, because the actual tooth is not manipulated or shaped in any way. Rather, the encroaching gum is recontoured to reveal more of the tooth’s crown that shouldn’t be below the gum. This is a basic surgical procedure that can be accomplished in one visit.

For most people, crown lengthening is used to improve a “gummy” smile, or one where teeth look shorter than they really are because the gums are so high. Having high gums makes some people feel like they still have their baby teeth. High gums are caused by a number of factors, including health problems, taking certain medications, and genetics. It is not a sign of gum disease.

For other people, crown lengthening is part of more essential restorative work. For example, if the gums are too high, artificial crowns cannot fit properly on the tooth. High gums may also hide a tooth fracture, making it impossible to treat. They can even cause problems for braces. Reshaping the gum can help facilitate these procedures.

Whether you need your gums reshaped for noncosmetic reasons or just want a better-looking smile, crown lengthening is an effective treatment option. If you want to learn more about any of our periodontic treatments at Jason M. Peterson, DDS, please call our Idaho Falls, ID, office today.