I notice that with some veneers there is a discoloration of the gums, kind of a "graying" of the gums around the veneers. Is this common, what causes it, and what can be done to prevent it? My fiancée is about to get Lumineers and we are concerned that she will develop this discoloration.

—Andrew from Arizona

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You're very observant to notice this. Unfortunately, you're more likely to get that gum discoloration with Lumineers. The graying is a sign of a health problem in the gums, and it comes from overcontouring the veneer at and just under the gumline. The way most Lumineers are made, they tend to be overcontoured at the gumline.

If you're going to invest all that money in a new smile, I'd really recommend you go to an expert cosmetic dentist. We have three excellent cosmetic dentists listed in the Phoenix area and I'll guarantee you that none of them will make veneers for you that will cause the gums to go gray like you have noticed on others. The contours at the gumline and the health of the gums are critical items we look at before we list any cosmetic dentist. Not only does it detract from the aesthetics of the case, it's a long-term health problem. Gum disease is a serious issue that can have serious long-term implications.

—Dr. Hall



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By Dr. David Hall

Written by a cosmetic dentist!

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