Associated Risks of Crown Lengthening

When a tooth is cracked, broken or has an aesthetic issue, a crown is often placed over it. A crown is simply a tooth-colored cap that fits over the affected tooth. It restores strength and full function of the tooth.

There are situations in which dentists may recommend increasing the length of a crown. For example, this is a common recommendation for patients with “gummy” smiles. When this procedure is performed, a dentist or periodontist may re-contour the gum and even bone to expose more of the tooth’s surface to securely fit a crown. While it is a safe procedure when performed correctly, there are some risks that should be addressed.


If you’ve ever experienced tooth sensitivity, you know the feeling. When more of the tooth is exposed, you may have more sensitivity to either hot or cold. For most patients, this is temporary; however, it may be permanent.


Crown lengthening is considered oral surgery which involves bleeding. It typically lasts about an hour following the surgery; however, some patients experience bleeding for longer time periods. If this happens, oral surgeons provide coagulants to help stop this complication.

Risk of Infection

As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection which may affect the tissue or the bone if not treated. This may be due to poor dental hygiene during the recovery or messing with the incisions. Patients may have an infection if they experience the following symptoms: redness, excessive pain, fever, severe swelling or discolored gum tissue. Some of the symptoms are common with surgery, but if they do not resolve themselves or get worse, it is important to call the doctor’s office to check for infection.

Ineffective Procedure

If the procedure is not performed by an experienced dental professional, crown lengthening may result in an ineffective procedure. This happens if the crown is not placed on the tooth securely or the tooth is loose. With an unsuccessful crown lengthening, the outcome may be tooth extraction or make it difficult to place an implant.

Longer Looking Tooth

Immediately following the procedure, the new crown may appear longer than the others. Once the healing process completes and any sensitivity greatly diminishes, the dentist can correct the appearance of the tooth to make it blend with the other surrounding teeth.

Successful Results

Crown lengthening can create or restore a beautiful, confident smile when performed by a qualified professional. The associated risks are easily minimized and preventable when following the directions provided by the professionals performing the procedures. For anyone considering crown lengthening, it is imperative to consult with a qualified dental professional such as an oral surgeon or periodontist.

The Pros and Cons of Mouthwash

Truth be told, mouthwash offers a lot of benefits to those who use it; however, it definitely is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Advantages of Mouthwash

  • Protects from Cavities – Most mouthwash contains fluoride which is also in toothpaste. Fluoride adds a layer of protection against plaque. Additionally, mouthwash kills bacteria that tends to stick to teeth and lead to tooth decay.
  • Helps Prevent Gum Disease – Plaque can easily develop in the areas around the gums especially when people do not floss regularly. While mouthwash is not a replacement for flossing, it provides a little more protection and helps prevent gum disease.
  • Freshens Breath – Ever notice how people take a swig of mouthwash, rinse, spit and then forcibly exhale to feel the mint? Mouthwash freshens breath which in turn makes the mouth feel clean.
  • Whitens Teeth – Some mouthwashes contain teeth whitener to help whiten teeth when used on a continual basis. It’s not meant to be a teeth whitener; however, it can help brighten teeth.
  • Soothes Sores – Canker sores can be so painful. Mouthwash can sooth sores and even help them heal a little faster. Regular use may even aid in preventing them.

Disadvantages of Mouthwash

  • Mouth Irritation – If too much is used, or the mouthwash has alcohol, it may irritate the inside of the mouth.
  • Harmful if Swallowed – With some mouthwashes, the ingredients are harmful if swallowed. While adults know not to swallow, children may not understand and drink it if they can open it. That’s why a child-proof lid is on many bottles of mouthwash.
  • Dries Out Mouths – This mostly pertains to those that contain alcohol and happens to people who use it too much. Alcohol-based mouthwashes can lead to tooth sensitivity and decay.
  • Conceals Other Oral Issues – Chronic halitosis or bad breath is often a symptom of health problems. When someone continuously has bad breath, they should consult with their dentist or doctor for any underlying conditions.

Basically, as with everything, mouthwash has its advantages and disadvantages. There are many types of mouthwash, so the best thing is to talk to a dentist to determine whether it is the best course of action and recommend the best type to use. Just remember… mouthwash is never a substitute or shortcut for proper oral hygiene.