A gummy smile is one that shows too much gum and not enough teeth. This could be a result of your teeth being proportionally small, or it may just appear that way because your gums are overgrown.
If you suffer from a gummy smile, you may smile less and may lack the confidence you desire to make it through the day with other people. Regardless of why your gums overwhelm your smile, Dr. Chee has cosmetic dentistry treatment options at our office in Calgary to help correct the issue.
Causes of Gummy Teeth
Issues with gummy teeth can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Unusually small teeth
- Late eruption
- Long maxillary bone
- Gum disease
- Gapped teeth
- Extensive smile
Based on your specific issue, Dr. Chee will decide on a treatment plan to restore your smile to where it belongs.
Expansive gums can be removed with a process called gum recontouring. The excess tissues are removed using laser technology under local anesthetic. This option is growing in popularity over traditional surgery because it is less invasive and helps cauterize blood vessels during the procedure, minimizing bleeding.
The gums may be tender for up to two weeks following surgery. Pain is controlled with over the counter medications and salt-water rinses.
If your teeth are especially small, or the gums appear large because of gaps in your teeth, a good option may be porcelain veneers. These thin appliances are adhered to your teeth, giving them a new surface. Short teeth can be elongated in order to appear more proportional. Gaps can also be closed by artfully filling in the spaces between your teeth. An added benefit to porcelain veneers is that they can also be used to whiten and brighten your smile.
Can Gummy Smiles Return After Treatment?
Your gum tissue is not like the tissue on your skin or other parts of your body. It does not have the ability to regenerate on its own. For that reason, gummy smiles generally cannot return after being reshaped with laser treatment. You can likely expect your results to last for many years.
That said, there are some instances where excess gum tissue may affect your smile again. For example, certain types of medications can cause enlarged gums as an unwanted side effect. Talk to our dentist about what steps you can take in order to maintain your attractive new smile.
What Happens if Your Gummy Smile Is Left Untreated?
A gummy smile can have several potential consequences when left untreated. For one thing, it can detract from the appearance of your smile and make it look unbalanced. It may also cause your teeth to appear shorter and smaller than they actually are underneath your gum tissue.
In some cases, a gummy smile can even indicate or contribute to oral health issues. A gummy smile may be the result of problems such as incomplete tooth eruption, dental wear, inflammation, and jaw misalignment. Our dentist can identify the cause of your gummy smile and explain any possible considerations that may be associated with not pursuing treatment.
Am I a Candidate for Gum Recontouring?
Most adults who feel self-conscious about their gumlines are ideal candidates for gum recontouring. The procedure may be recommended for cosmetic or medical reasons.
Our dentist can determine if gum recontouring is an appropriate option for your situation. He will perform an examination, look for any oral health issues, and discuss your goals for treatment. Generally, you will be advised to quit smoking before gum reshaping, as it delays healing.
What Is the Recovery and Aftercare for Gum Recontouring?
Gum contouring or reshaping using laser technology involves little downtime. However, complete healing can take between a few days to several weeks, depending on the extent of the procedure. During this time, your gums may be tender or sensitive. Good aftercare will help you feel more comfortable. Dr. Chee will give you specific instructions about caring for your gums.
Over-the-counter pain medications can relieve the initial discomfort after gum recontouring. It is also a good idea to eat soft foods, such as soup, yogurt, and applesauce, for the first few days.
Contact us Today!
To find out more about the cosmetic treatment options for correcting a gummy smile, please contact the Aesthetic Dental Studio in Calgary to schedule an initial consultation. You can reach our office online or by calling 403-543-4600. Dr. Chee will show you some before and after pictures of successful gum treatment and help you get your old smile back.