Can you treat a gummy smile?

A ‘gummy smile’ is where your gums cover too much of your teeth. Your teeth are then too short and look out of proportion with the rest of your mouth.

This usually only affects the front teeth but other teeth can be similarly affected.

What causes a gummy smile?

Some high blood pressure medicines or certain medical conditions can cause a gummy smile although it is usually a genetic factor. If your parents have a gummy smile then you are likely to have the same!

This may seem rather innocuous but people do feel self-conscious about their smile and will try to avoid smiling whenever possible. It is a cosmetic issue rather than a medical problem – as such, but if it affects a person’s quality of life then treatment such as gum contouring is required.

What is gum contouring?

This is the name given to the procedure in which the dentist trims away excess gum tissue. It is usually done using a scalpel but new dental technologies have meant that a laser can be used instead.

One of the advantages of the laser is that it can seal the blood vessels during the procedure.

This is a quick and painless procedure which will give you a normal healthy smile.

What is the procedure?

Your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic to help numb the area. He or she will then use a scalpel or laser to trim away the excess tissue as well as reshaping the remaining gum tissue.

If he/she is using a laser then this will be used to cauterise the area and prevent any bleeding. This is done quickly and efficiently.

This is usually a straightforward procedure but in some cases the dentist will have to reshape the bone as well. This is the bone where the teeth are situated. This decision is down to your dentist who will base this decision upon the likelihood of the gum re-growing over the teeth again.

If your dentist decides to do this then don’t worry; this is not a complex procedure and can be completed just as quickly.

You may be given crowns or dental veneers to wear after this procedure to enhance your smile.

How much does it cost?

Laser gum contouring can cost around £120. It will cost less if performed using a scalpel.

This procedure is usually very successful and will improve your self-confidence. But like any procedure there are side effects although these are rare. The one possible side effect is if too much gum is removed which can cause swelling and inflammation. If this does happen then further treatment will be needed. For more information on gummy smile treatments visit the cosmetic dentistry guide.

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