This is a guest article by the team at dentalimplant.co.uk where you can learn even more about your dental health and related conditions.
A gummy smile does not result in any pain or discomfort, but it can have an impact on one’s confidence. It is a term used to describe the look of the smile when there is a larger than normal amount of gum tissue visible, making the teeth appear smaller and shorter because of the way in which the gum covers the top of the teeth. There are no medical symptoms or implications, but most people are concerned about the look of their smile. If you don’t like the appearance of your smile, this can affect the way you behave in social situations and how you feel about the way you look in general.
Causes of a gummy smile
In most cases, a gummy smile results from genetics, but it can also be a side-effect of taking certain medications. There are no symptoms apart from being able to see a large amount of gum tissue covering the teeth, individuals do not suffer from any pain, but it can be distressing because the smile can look uneven and unbalanced. Some people can find the sight unattractive and it is a reason why many people choose not to smile.
If you suffer from a lack of confidence as a result of the way your smile looks, this hinders your ability to show off your personality and it may also affect the way you come across when you meet new people or socialise with others. Your smile is the best way to connect with people and a great way of creating a positive first impression and you should be able to smile with confidence, rather than worrying about the way you look.
What can be done?
Thankfully, there is a simple procedure that is very effective in treating a gummy smile; the procedure is known as gum reshaping or gum contouring. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and although it sounds fairly daunting, it is a simple, safe and painless treatment.
The aim of the procedure is to trim away tiny pieces of the gum tissue to reveal more of the crown section of the teeth so that when you smile, you see more tooth and less gum. The gum tissue is removed using either a scalpel or laser treatment. If a scalpel is used local anaesthetic will be needed to numb the gums prior to the procedure to prevent you from feeling any pain.
Your dentist will use their skills and expertise to shape the gums to enhance the look of your smile and create a balanced, even smile; by the end of the treatment session, your teeth will look slightly larger and longer and your smile will look much more even and attractive.
Treatment time is generally one hour and either a scalpel or laser device will be used to remove the excess gum tissue.
Side-effects and downtime
There are few risks to the patient and this is especially the case where laser technology is used to reduce the risk of infection. Mild soreness or swelling is to be expected and it is advised that you stick to soft food for the initial days of your recovery. Any painful symptoms can be alleviated by using over-the-counter medication. If local anaesthetic is used you may experience a headache and nausea for a short time, but your dentist should provide details as to what you should expect per your specific case.
Gum contouring cost
The cost will vary according to the practice you visit and their location, the expertise of the dentist and the amount of gum tissue that needs to be removed. In the majority of cases you can expect to pay between $180 and $380. This is, however, a treatment which can make a remarkable difference to a gummy smile and instantly improve one’s self-confidence.
What are the benefits of laser treatment?
Lasers are being used increasingly frequently in dentistry and they have a wide range of roles and uses. Laser gum reshaping is advantageous over traditional scalpel methods because there is no bleeding involved, which means that there is a much lower risk of infection, less pain and reduced healing time. Laser treatment is also more accurate and most patients find the prospect of having laser treatment much less scary than having treatment using a scalpel.