Gum Contouring – Reduce a Gummy Smile

How to cure a gummy smile?

Perhaps you may have heard someone say that a person has a ‘gummy smile’? This occurs when the gum line of a person is higher than normal and the gum can be seen to be covering a higher portion than usual of the person’s front teeth. This is often genetically inherited although can also be caused by certain medical problems and may even be a side effect of some blood pressure medications. Whichever is the case though, there is little doubt it causes the person some embarrassment and most likely a reluctance to smile.

Of course, at one time, there would have been very little that could be done about this, but today, thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry procedures, the problem of a gummy smile can be corrected.

This correction is done by a method called gum contouring or gum re-shaping.

The treatment to re-shape the gum is relatively inexpensive and the procedure should take around one hour to perform.

Traditionally, the procedure has been done using a scalpel, however, increasingly; dental practices are using a laser. This laser (or scalpel), will be used to trim away the excess gum that is covering the teeth. The advantage of using laser technology is that as well as cutting away the gum, it also helps to seal it, limiting the amount of bleeding created by the procedure. As well as cutting away the gum, the dentist will also re-shape it to create a natural look for the patient. The healing process after this procedure is relatively speedy, especially if a laser has been used to perform it.

Needless to say, prior to the procedure, a local anaesthetic will be administered in the gum and the patient should feel virtually no pain at all.

There may be rare occasions where there is a need to remove some of the bone that the teeth are rooted into. The dentist will advise if this is the case. This procedure is straightforward however and not as frightening as it perhaps may sound.

The dentist may also suggest that a crown or veneers are added to the patient’s teeth in order to not only remove the gummy smile, but to give you teeth to be proud of and a willingness to smile once again.

As with all dental procedures, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene after treatment. After having gums contoured or re-shaped, the gums may be a little sore for a few days. It is recommended that the patient rinse the mouth with a warm saline solution rather than a harsher mouth wash. Also, it is a good idea to continue to brush the teeth, although using a softer toothbrush is advised. Care should be taken especially when flossing in order not to cut into the sensitive gums.

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