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Gum & Jawbone Corrective Treatments

There are many reasons why the gums and jawbone may require corrective treatment, including periodontal disease, trauma and birth defects. Periodontal disease particularly, can greatly disfigure the natural appearance of the gums and teeth and give the smile an unaesthetic appearance.

New “cosmetic surgery” procedures are now available in periodontics, which effectively correct cosmetic problems and restore natural beauty to the smile.

Here are some of the most common gum and jawbone corrective treatments:

Common Gum Treatments

  • Crown lengthening (gum lift) – Crown lengthening is usually performed to correct a “gummy” smile, or to expose more of the tooth prior to a restorative surgery.  In some cases, the teeth look short and stubby and partly covered by gum tissue due to genetics or gingivitis.  Excess gum tissue can easily be removed to reshape the outline of the gums, expose the natural tooth length, and provide a fuller, more attractive smile.  The same procedure is also an excellent way to create a more aesthetic gumline for dental crowns and other restorative procedures.

  • Gum grafts – Gum grafts are generally performed to correct a crooked smile, or to restore symmetry to the gumline after periodontal disease has been treated.  Periodontal disease causes the gums to recede; making the smile look overly “toothy.”  During a gum graft, a thin strip of tissue is removed from the palate and stitched in place over the recession site.  Gum grafts are often used to re-contour the gum line and give the teeth a more pleasing appearance.

  • Pocket reduction surgery – Periodontal disease can cause the smile to be marred with unattractive teeth, brown gums and ridge indentations.  The aim of pocket reduction surgery is to clean the root surfaces of the teeth e subgingivally (beneath the gum line).  During this procedure, tartar, plaque and bacteria that are affecting the teeth and gums will be removed.  The gum is first gently separated away from the tooth, and then the calculus (tartar) and plaque are removed using special ultrasonic and hand instruments.  An antimicrobial liquid may be administered to the area to destroy bacteria colonies and ensure the pockets are given the chance to naturally heal.  Pocket reduction surgery is an effective way to restore health to the gums and bone.

Common Jawbone Treatments

  • Sinus augmentation – This procedure is usually performed prior to the placement of dental implants, to ensure that the prosthetic teeth are both functional and firmly affixed to the bone.  The success of an implant hinges on the quantity and quality of the jawbone to which it will be attached.  If the jawbone has receded or been injured, a sinus augmentation can slightly elevate the sinus floor to allow new bone to form.  Generally, a small incision is made in the bone and the underlying space is packed with grafting material.  The incision is sutured closed, and the implant will be placed when healing has occurred.

  • Ridge modification – Ridge modification procedures are used to treat deformities in the jawbone which have occurred due to periodontal disease, trauma or birth defects.  Birth defects particularly, can leave an unattractive indentation in the jaw, which makes placing dental implants difficult.  During the ridge modification procedure, the gum is gently pulled away from the bone to fully expose the defect.  The defect is filled with bone graft material or a similar synthetic product and then sutured closed.  When healing occurs, the cosmetic appearance of the jaw is much improved and implants can be successfully placed where necessary.

  • Bone grafts – There are a wide variety of reasons why a bone graft may be necessary.  Bone grafting thickens the jawbone to allow for the successful placement of implant anchors.  Bone grafts can also help elevate the sinus floor, fill craters or deformities in the jawbone itself, or allow for successful nerve repositioning.  The grafting material may be harvested from the lower jaw, the iliac section of the pelvis, or synthetically created.  In most cases, a small opening is made in the jawbone and packed with the bone graft material.  Sutures are placed and restorative treatments are performed when healing is complete.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Gum or Jawbone corrective treatments please ask your dentist.

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Testimonials

Dr. Carpenter,



So many times in business and life in general, we are pummeled with the negative. I just wanted to drop a quick positive note to let you know how pleased I am with yourself and the entire staff at M Street Dental. My entire family have been patients with you for many years. I don’t believe anyone will tell you they enjoy going to the dentist and I will confess I am no exception. M Street Dental however has always maintained a genuinely positive and friendly atmosphere where I feel as though I am among friends. This includes your entire staff. On Thursday, January 17th, I went into your clinic expecting to have a what was left of a tooth that had broken off extracted. To my pleasant surprise you have put me on a treatment plan to basically “resurrect” this tooth. Keep up the great work & kudos to you all.

Brian Buckingham

When I asked for an evaluation of my mouth, I thought I would probably lose all my remaining teeth, and start over. Remarkably you immediately removed the remains of 2 teeth and set up time the next day to make impressions. Your assistant made very good impressions, and made time the next day for your lab people to add to and repair my existing partial plates. A great job by all of you! The fit is amazing, and they work almost as well as normal teeth. They have needed no adjusting and I can eat green salad again, and apples! And the teeth that show in a smile look very natural. Thank all of you for a good job, well done. It is much appreciated! All done in 4 days!! Unbelievable! Thank you very much.

June Cheek

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