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A 60-year-old male asked:

many people i come in contact with have a long toothy type smile. not like that those with veneers. why do you think this is? is this part of aging?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. John DeWolf
Dentistry 40 years experience
Recession: If older people have had significant recession of their gums, their teeth will appear long. Good gum health should preclude significant recession so it isn't an automatic issue with aging and in truth young people can suffer the same fate if they have periodontal (gum) issues.
Dr. Peter Karsant
Dentistry 39 years experience
Yes and No: Gums can remain healthy for your lifetime and have no recession however most people experience some recession with age not related to gum disease. Gum disease will cause significant recession. Other causes are smoking, malocclusion, grinding and decay at the gumline. To keep your gums as healthy as possible see your dentist regularly.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Hmmm: Teeth may appear "long" due to gum recession, a "high lip line", skeletal issue, malocclusion or individual variation. You are probably seeing different factors in different individuals. Even with gum recession the roots of the teeth are often covered by the upper lip except perhaps on a very broad smile. With age comes some recession even in healthy mouths ; does not necessarily equate w aging.

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