When you think about going to the dentist, you probably think about your teeth.
It’s natural. We think about your teeth, too. But, we also think about your gums.
Your gums play a critical role in the health of your teeth and your overall oral health. They are the soft-tissue covering that protects the roots of your teeth and also covers the bone to which your teeth are connected.
But having healthy gums and teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that you will love your smile.
The Smile Line
What’s the smile line? It’s the space between your upper lip and your lower lip when you smile. It’s what people see. Take a look at your smile. Do you like what you see?
Take a look at the shape and size of your lips. Now, look at the appearance of your teeth and gums. Do they appear too large or too puffy? You’re not alone. Many people have gum tissue that extends too far over the tops of their teeth.
This is what is known as a “gummy smile.” The International Journal of Surgery Case Reports defines it further here.
What Contributes to a Gummy Smile?
- Excess gum tissue
- The upper lip moving higher than normal when you smile
- Abnormal growth of the upper jaw, which means the growth of more gum tissue over the upper teeth
- Bite malocclusion
Cosmetic Concerns Related to a Gummy Smile
If you notice that your gums are extending beyond the top of your teeth, it can make you feel self-conscious when you smile. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you hide your teeth when you smile because of your gums?
- Do you feel self-conscious about your smile because your gum line is uneven?
- Do you avoid talking in social situations because you feel like your teeth are unattractive?
- Do you feel as if people judge your appearance because of your smile?
The Impacts of a Gummy Smile
Smiles that are too gummy often cause your teeth to appear shorter than they are. Other impacts of a gummy smile include:
- Uneven gum line
- Illusion of teeth being unevenly sized
- Illusion of crooked teeth
- Redness and puffiness of the gums
- Pain and inflammation caused by rubbing of excess gum tissue
- The appearance of poor health or poor hygiene
Soft Tissue Laser Gum Recontouring for Gummy Smiles
Gum laser treatment is an effective way to correct this problem. Laser gum contouring is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that uses light energy to reshape the gum line without causing damage to the underlying tissues. The results are immediate and dramatic. Your smile will be transformed into one that looks much healthier and more attractive.
How Does Laser Gum Treatment Work?
During the process of laser gum recontouring, a small amount of topical anesthesia is applied to numb the area around the treated tooth. A handpiece with a very fine tip is used to gently remove some of the gum tissue from the top of the tooth. This allows us to treat only the areas where there is excessive gum tissue.
After the procedure is completed, the gum tissue should return to its original position within two weeks.
Does Laser Gum Contouring Hurt?
Old-fashioned gum recontouring is painful, imprecise and even dangerous because it involves a scalpel and manually removing the gum tissue. The cosmetic results were unpredictable, and patients had a very high risk of infection. Conventional gum surgery also had painful and difficult recovery times.
Modern laser gum surgery is significantly different from traditional surgery, and most patients say it’s not painful. In fact, most patients report feeling nothing during the procedure. After the procedure, patients may experience mild discomfort, but this usually subsides after a few hours. Patients who have had previous gum surgery may experience soreness for several days following the procedure.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Yes, there are side effects associated with laser gum contouring. These include minor bleeding and swelling. However, these symptoms usually resolve quickly and do not require any special care.
Who Should Consider Laser Gum Recontouring?
Anyone who has noticed that their gums extend past the top of their teeth can benefit from laser gum recontouring.
Patients who have experienced gum recession in the past may also benefit from laser gum reconditioning. If you have had prior gum surgeries, laser gum recontouring may help prevent future gum problems.
Some of the most common reasons patients choose to undergo laser gum contouring include:
- Unhealthy gums
- Puffy gums
- Overgrown gums
- Tooth decay
Can Gum Recontouring Be Combined with Other Cosmetic Procedures?
Yes. Laser gum recontouring is often combined with other cosmetic dental procedures such as veneers, crowns, porcelain veneers, bridges, implants and teeth whitening.
Let’s talk about how laser gum recontouring can help improve the appearance of your smile. Call us now to schedule an appointment for a consultation.