If you have uneven gums or your gums are too low on your teeth, you may be a candidate for a cosmetic dental procedure called gum contouring. Gums can be reshaped and sculpted to remove excess gums and give you a beautiful smile. Uneven gums can make teeth appear too short or too long. Ideally, healthy and well-contoured gums should be even and symmetrical to serve as the frame and compliment your smile.
Causes of gummy smiles:
- Excess gum tissue, also known as an altered passive eruption. The teeth have proper length but they appear short because they are covered by excess gum tissue. This occurs if gums did not normally settle to display the appropriate amount of teeth.
- Hypermobile upper lip which causes the upper lip to rise higher than normal when smiling and will show more gums.
- Short upper lip will place the smile line higher than ideal.
- Vertical maxillary excess as a result of the growth and development of the upper jaw. If the upper jaw grew slightly larger, then more gums may show when smiling.
- Worn teeth or peg teeth will make your teeth appear shorter and your gums appear larger.
- Certain medications can lead to an overgrowth of gum tissue.
Gum recontouring is a method of crown lengthening which makes your teeth appear longer and give you a more youthful looking smile. It is just one of the methods to correct a gummy smile. Simple gum surgery may be all it takes for smiles with worn teeth, short teeth or excess gum tissue. It can correct the proportions of your teeth. In many cases, dentists can complete the gum reshaping procedure in one appointment, and the time required is often less than an hour to do simple cases. Patients do not need to be "put to sleep" (i.e. put under general anesthesia). Pain after gum surgery is minimal and you may only need over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. The healing process does not involve much discomfort but special precautions need to be taken such as avoiding certain foods or moving your lip too much. Depending on the type of gum surgery your dentist recommends, sutures or stitches may not even be necessary. Talk to your dentist to learn if you are a candidate for gum recontouring surgery.
Make an appointment today to discuss your options! Our Edmonton dental office, Orchards Dental, is conveniently located in the middle of the Ellerslie, Summerside, and Orchards of Ellerslie neighborhoods of south-east Edmonton.