Gum contouring is not always the most talked-about procedure at the dentist’s office. But if you are unhappy with uneven gums or puffy gums, this could be just what you need to change your smile. A gummy smile or receding gums are not uncommon issues that people face. It is helpful to understand how gum…
Gum Contouring for a Gummy Smile
For those who suffer from a gummy smile, gum contouring offers a simple yet effective solution. This type of treatment can be used to remove excess gingival tissue and provide a more aesthetically pleasing look. While this procedure is typically used for cosmetic purposes, it can also help remedy certain periodontal issues. Either way, treatment is usually quick with a low-key recovery period.
The function of gum contouring
In general, what most would consider an average smile reveals approximately 2 millimeters of gum tissue above the top teeth. When more tissue is visible, it may be considered an excessive gingival display or gummy smile. This can be a result of numerous issues, including:
- Small teeth
- Development of excess gum tissue
- Abnormal bone growth in the upper jaw
- Overactive lip muscles
- Irregular tooth eruption
When excessive soft tissue growth is identified as the underlying cause, gum contouring can be used to improve the smile's appearance. Some dental professionals may also recommend the procedure for patients with excessive gum recession as a means of gingival reconstruction. In these situations, healthy tissue is relocated from another area of the mouth, usually one of the palates, and is used to reshape the gum line.
Understanding the treatment process
A thorough evaluation is necessary before scheduling gum contouring. It is important to properly diagnose the root cause of a gummy smile to ensure the appropriate treatment plan is created. Patients should also be in good oral and overall health before undergoing this type of elective dental work.
When gum contouring is used to remove unwanted excess tissue, a dental professional uses either manual tools or a dental laser to carefully reshape the area to create the desired appearance. While the amount of time needed can vary, most treatment sessions last between one and two hours from start to finish. When using a dental laser to reshape the gums, cauterization typically occurs to seal any wounds. However, if manual tools are used, some stitches may be required.
Some minor bleeding and tenderness are to be expected after the procedure. Most patients only need a few hours of downtime and can control discomfort by eating soft foods, using over-the-counter pain medications, and applying a cold compress as needed. It is important to avoid aspirin, as this may cause excessive bleeding. Patients are also encouraged to be wary of signs of infection, such as severe pain, oozing, or a fever. A dentist will likely schedule a follow-up appointment to check for proper healing.
People who wish to improve the look of their gummy smile can turn to gum contouring as a possible solution. This simple procedure can be effective in creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile by reducing excess gum tissue around the teeth. A dentist can help determine if this is the appropriate treatment plan based on the patient's background and overall oral health.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: What Is Gum Contouring in San Dimas, CA.
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