COSMETIC GUM CONTOURING FOR A GUMMY SMILE

Gum contouring can be as simple as removing some of the gum tissue to eliminate a “gummy” smile or more complicated, involving removal of both bone and gum tissue. If just a small amount of tissue needs to be removed, a diode laser can be used to remove tissue with anesthesia. This can usually be accomplished is 15 to 30 minutes.

If a larger amount of tissue needs to be removed, then gum and bone surgery is required in a procedure called crown lengthening. This involves 1 to 2 hours, with a required healing period of 4 to 6 weeks.

A “gummy smile,” or excess gingival display, is a condition where too much pink tissue can be seen when a person speaks or smiles. Approximately 7% of men and 14% of women have excess gingival display in full smile. A gummy smile is usually associated with an enlarged upper jaw, a short upper lip, short upper front teeth, or a forward position of the front teeth. This condition may also result from disproportionate lip length or tooth height.

A gummy smile can be corrected by orthodontic treatment, periodontal surgery, jaw surgery, or a combination of these procedures. In general, active treatment time with orthodontic appliances ranges from 1 to 3 years. The actual time depends on the growth of the patient’s mouth and face, the cooperation of the patient, and the severity of the problem. Custom-made appliances are designed by the orthodontist according to the problem being treated. They may be removable or fixed (cemented and/or bonded to the teeth), and made of metal, ceramic or plastic. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces can slowly move teeth through their supporting bone to a new desirable position.

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How does gum contouring work?

The process of Gum Contouring focuses on changing the shape of your gumline. This is done by the dentist carefully removing any excess gum tissue around the patient’s teeth. If a patient suffers from gum recession this process can be reversed adding gum to help restore its original shape.

How long does it take gums to heal after gum contouring?

If all of the after-care instructions are done correctly, the healing time can usually take up to ten days. The right oral hygiene is vital during this time to prevent any infection which may occur due to incorrect after-care.

Is gum contouring painful?

Before the procedure is carried out the patient will be given local anaesthetic so that the gums are completely numb and the patient will feel no pain. Once the numbness wears off tenderness is to be expected for the next few days.

Is gum contouring safe?

Gum contouring is a very safe and effective procedure for people with a gummy smile. Like anything it has risks that come with it. For example, the gum tissue that is being removed has a possibility of growing back.

What should I eat after gum contouring?

After a person has gone through the procedure of gum contouring it is important that they have a soft diet for a few days. This stops discomfort or pain to the gum tissue as it healing as there is not as much movement from chewing. It is also recommended to avoid spicy food or food that has little seeds or gums which could cause the healing of the gum to be effected.

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