Why Is My Smile Uneven & How Do I Fix It?

One issue some patients might have with their smile is that it looks crooked or seems to be uneven. Millions of people feel embarrassed or not confident in their smiles if their teeth are crooked, stained, or missing. But not only can crooked teeth and smiles be cosmetic dental concerns but in some cases they can even affect your oral health. For example, bite alignment can play a role in migraines and issues with your jaw. In this article we will discuss the different reasons your smile might look uneven, as well as, what procedures can address those issues. If you live in the Southern Maine area and are interested in dental services for your smile, we would be more than happy to help.

How Uneven Gum Lines Can Create An Uneven Smile

Often when we think of our smiles the first thing we think of is our teeth. But our smile is made up of more than just our teeth. Your gums play an important role in both the health and shape of your smile. One thing that might create the appearance of an asymmetrical smile is gum line recession. Gum lines can recede for a multitude of reasons. 

Gum line recession refers to when your gum tissue pulls away from your tooth. This can expose the roots and put your teeth at higher risk for a variety of dental issues including dental decay. In some cases the gums will recede from a specific tooth which can create the illusion that some of your teeth are “bigger” or “smaller”. This can create an asymmetrical smile. But more important than the cosmetic effects you should consider the risks of gum disease. 

Gum recession has many different potential causes. Like many oral issues poor oral health can lead to gum recession at an early age. For example, not brushing, not flossing, and not going to the dentist can lead to gum disease and damage to the gums. That said, brushing your teeth too hard can also damage the gums and cause recession. Finally, recession is also known to have a genetic element to it, and it is possible to see early gum recession even with great oral health habits. 

Yes, often when your gums recede it can expose pockets or tiny gaps between your teeth, this is an easy place for food and other particles to get caught and lead to bacteria and dental decay. When tooth decay is not addressed it can lead to severe and irreversible damage and eventually tooth loss. Some other symptoms to pay attention to are tooth sensitivity or the feeling that there is a notch in your teeth near the gum line. If you notice that your gums are receding you should make an appointment with your dentist.

Receding gums can be treated with gum disease restoration procedures like scaling and planing. During these procedures harmful bacteria is removed from the pockets that are formed when your gums recede to prevent more damage to both your teeth and your gums. 

Gum recession can be prevented with a few good oral habits. Brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for routine cleanings can eliminate the risk of bacteria causing gum recession. Avoiding tobacco products can also improve your oral health and prevent not only gum disease but also oral cancer. That said, gum recession often happens for genetic reasons, so it is important to track your oral health with your dentist. 

Crooked Teeth And Orthodontic Solutions

Another reason your smile can appear uneven is if your teeth are misaligned. There are many different types of misalignment including crowded teeth, teeth that are twisted, gaps between teeth, overbites, underbites, etc. For most of these isssues orthodontic procedures including braces or retainers are the best solution. Orthodontic procedures often have both a cosmetic and functional element to them. While straightening your teeth can make your smile look better it can also address issues with bite alignment and make it easier to brush, floss, and take care of your teeth. 

Are Orthodontic Procedures Covered By Insurance?

Because orthodontic procedures are beneficial to health, many dental insurance programs provide some coverage for orthodontic services. Make sure to check with your provider to see if you have coverage, and what type of procedures are covered. Otherwise you can always work with your dentist to get financing options or payment plans. 

Why Are My Teeth Different Shapes?

Sometimes teeth can simply be shaped differently from one another leading to an asymmetrical smile. Unlike orthodontic or gum disease-related issues, teeth being different shapes or sizes is usually not a cause for concern, and fixing this is usually done purely for cosmetic reasons. There are a variety of dental procedures that can help improve the shape and size of teeth including dental bonding, dental contouring, and full smile makeovers. 

Set Up A Dental Appointment in Maine

If you live in the southern Maine area and are looking to see a dentist, we would be happy to help. We work with patients of all ages. Give us a call or use our online form for more information.