Gum shaping or recontouring for better symmetry

Crown lengthening for a gummy smile

Excessive and uneven gum tissue might not be a concern to you unless you actually have the cosmetic problem. Often referred to as a “gummy” smile, the cosmetic problem causes your smile to appear off due to excessive gum tissue overlap that obscures your teeth and gums. 

One result of a gummy smile: You may avoid smiling at all costs. 

Luckily, there’s a simple solution to gummy smiles, and it’s called gum recontouring or cosmetic gum reshaping. We will explain how gum shaping can help you to stop smiling with your mouth closed. 

gum reshaping

3 step process or start to finish dental veneers

Will gum shaping improve a gummy smile?

Reasons that someone might have extra gum tissue usually boils down to a few causes. One is called altered active eruption. The situation refers to when your teeth grow normally but your gum tissue and bone covers them.

Another cause of a gummy smile is called super-eruption. People who suffer from teeth grinding put pressure on their teeth, which can slightly alter their dental position at different points throughout your day. 

To address this, your body pushes your upper teeth down so that the top and bottom teeth are still making contact. 

Giving Your Gums a Lift

You may also know gum recontouring as a gum lift. Excess gum tissue can make your teeth appear small or uneven.

In order to provide a beautiful gum line, your cosmetic dentist will examine you and record your measurements. You will need to be in good oral health and free from periodontal disease (gum disease). 

Just as no two people have the exact same cosmetic needs, no two patients will require the exact same procedure. 

Any respectable cosmetic dentist will take the time to listen to their patients’ cosmetic and personal goals. Only then can the doctor help that person reach his or her goals.  

Pictures and impressions may also be taken. As you can see from the diagram in this blog,  your dentist goes to great lengths to help his patients clearly see how their cosmetic results will look. 

When your procedure appointment arrives, your gumline will be marked so that just the right amount of tissue can be removed. 

Local anesthetic will make you completely numb to the reshaping of your gums. Different options are available to implement a gum lift but lasers have gained much popularity over the years due to the fact that they close the soft tissue as they remove it, ending the need for sutures.

Lasers also allow for less bleeding and a faster recovery. 

Recovery from Gum Shaping

You should rest for the remainder of the day following gum shaping. Your gums will heal quickly on their own, but you should take care to avoid hard or crunchy foods that might hurt your treatment site.

Can you brush and floss to keep your teeth clean? Yes, but take care to not injure your treatment site. 

Healing time will vary from patient to patient. Most people recover between seven to 10 days.  

Can Laser Gum Shaping be Used with Other Procedures?

To maximize cosmetic results, gum shaping is often paired with other cosmetic treatments. Two of these options include whitening and veneers. 

If your teeth are small or misshapen, placing a row of beautiful veneers can help you enjoy all of the benefits of a transformed smile. The thin shells can be made larger or whiter than your natural teeth. 

If you combine both procedures, your doctor can place the shells after your gum contouring or crown lengthening so that the veneers can match your new gumline.

Teeth whitening is a great option if your teeth are not misshapen or very small. Professional whitenings can make your teeth really “pop.” 

Learn More about Your Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Talk to Dr. Fondriest about the cause of and treatment for your gummy smile. Call (847) 234-0517 to schedule your cosmetic procedure appointment at our dental office.

Dr Fondriest is a nationally known and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States