Gum Contouring for a Gummy Smile

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For many people seeking a cosmetic improvement to their smile, there is no problem with how their teeth look. In fact, their main issue is the appearance of their gums, which may seem too visible or large when smiling. This issue is more common than you might think, a 'gummy' smile is caused by the gum tissue overgrowing and covering your teeth.

There are a wide variety of reasons for a patients gum to grow excessively. In some patients, larger gums appear to be an inherited condition but they can also occur as a side effect of certain types of blood pressure medication. When your gums are overgrown, it can often make your smile appear crooked or lop-sided. It can also make it seem as though your teeth are a lot smaller than they actually are. Luckily, a dental procedure known as gum contouring (or lifting) can be used to easily solve this problem.

The gum contouring process is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic, meaning you will be conscious throughout. Once your dentist has numbed the target area, a laser is then used to cut small sections of the overgrown gum tissue away. A scalpel may also be used for the cutting though performing the gum contouring procedure with a laser has several benefits. A laser can seal the blood vessels after cutting, and this tends to reduce the recovery period without causing unnecessary pain or discomfort to the patient.

The cutting involved in this procedure will gradually help to contour the gums and improve the appearance of your smile. In more severe cases, gum contouring might not be sufficient to correct the appearance of your 'gummy' smile. If this is the case, then a reduction in the bone tissue at the front of the tooth's root may be required. Using this method ensures that the tissues will not grow back into their former state. Although this procedure is a little more complex than gum contouring, it is highly effective and won't cause you much additional pain or discomfort.

Risks of  Gum Contouring

Gum contouring has an excellent safety record and the majority of treatments are performed safely and effectively. However, as with all surgical operations, there are some risks. If an excessive amount of gum tissue is removed, then the mouth may have problems healing. This can cause several issues such as swelling and may require additional treatment to correct it. In very rare cases where the amount of gum tissue removed is too great, a longer recovery period may ensue. Similarly, if you undergo the treatment with a scalpel rather than a laser, the time it takes you to recover tends to be much longer.

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