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Gentle Dental

Gum Contouring – Laser Gum Reduction

Ideally, when you smile or talk, you will show a minimal amount of gum, and the gums should appear evenly and attractively contoured. If you expose too much gum, it’s a problem called a “gummy smile.”


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“Our dentists are experienced in gum contouring and can assess your gum line and your gum health to make sure this treatment is appropriate.”

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Sometimes gum lines are uneven or appear too low. Some people have gums that cover part of their teeth, making it appear as if their teeth look too small. This condition can be genetic or is sometimes caused by certain health problems or taking particular prescription medications.

A person can also show too much gum because they have an overactive muscle in their upper lip. When they smile, the muscle moves the upper lip too much, exposing more gum than is desirable. People with this problem will need a different dental surgery treatment to correct the overactive muscle.

Can an Uneven Gum Line Affect My Dental Health?

Usually, gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure and will provide any significant benefits to your oral health. Most people choose this procedure because they want to improve their smile, but some people will have this treatment as part of their periodontal care plan. Gum contouring could be necessary if you need other types of gum surgery, including gum regeneration treatments, gum pocket reduction.

What to Do If Your Gums Are Uneven?

If you feel you show too much gum when you smile, one option is to consider gum contouring. Gum contouring is a treatment that can create an even gum line, ensuring you expose exactly the right amount of tooth and giving you a more attractive smile. Our dentists are experienced in gum contouring and can assess your gum line and your gum health to make sure this treatment is appropriate.

How Do We Plan Gum Contouring Treatment?

Our dentist will discuss how much gum tissue to remove and how we will reshape your gum line. Also, we will determine which gums to treat. Some people may only need the gum line correcting on one or two teeth, while others will need more extensive treatment. During the planning process, we might draw a line on your gums so you can see how much we intend to remove.

Another thing we will need to decide is if we need to reshape the underlying bone. Sometimes the bone is recontoured as well during gum recontouring to give a better long-term outcome or to prepare teeth or treatments like crown lengthening.

We plan gum contouring treatment conservatively. We will only remove a minimal amount of tissue required to reshape your gums attractively. If necessary, we can always touch up the results later to achieve a more cosmetically perfect outcome.

What to Expect During Gum Contouring?

Before surgery, our dentist will use local anesthetic to numb the areas receiving treatment. Excess gum tissue can be removed using a scalpel. Afterward, the treated areas are stitched so they can heal comfortably. Another method of removing excess gum tissue is with a dental laser. Laser dentistry is a very gentle and precise way to remove excess tissue, producing fewer side-effects and aiding quicker healing. Sometimes it may not even be necessary to numb the areas before treatment.

What to Expect After Gum Contouring?

Before you leave our dental office, we will discuss how to care for your gums as they heal, including how to brush your teeth during the healing process. Any discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or Advil. It is best to avoid aspirin because this can cause bleeding.

While your gums are healing, stick to eating cooler, softer foods that require minimal chewing. Avoid seeds and grains that could become stuck around the surgery site. It’s also better to avoid spicy foods until your gums have healed. Good foods to eat include pasta, cottage cheese, eggs, and yogurt, as well as softer vegetables and ice cream.

Healing after gum contouring should be uneventful and fairly quick, but if you notice your gums are swollen excessively or have begun to bleed, or if you are at all concerned about this procedure, then please call us and we will be happy to help you.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Gum Contouring?

Treatment is very safe, but any form of surgery always carries a slight level of risk. One possibility is a reaction to any anesthetic, but this is extremely rare. It’s also possible for gum tissue to relapse, where the gum tissue begins to grow back after gum contouring. If this does occur, we can always adjust the results later, removing more gum if needed.

Our periodontists here at Gentle Dental can discuss all the laser gum contouring options suitable for your situation. For more information about the contouring surgery or the best gum reduction treatment in Queens, contact Gentle Dental at (718) 461-0100.

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